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Ricksecker, Watson Earn Academic Honors

August 6, 2008  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Jaime Watson (front) and Rebekah Ricksecker both earned their first USTFCCCA Division I Women's All-Academic Track & Field team recognition.

Jaime Watson (front) and Rebekah Ricksecker both earned their first USTFCCCA Division I Women's All-Academic Track & Field team recognition.

Liberty junior track & field athletes Rebekah Ricksecker and Jaime Watson have been named to the 2008 U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division I Women's All-Academic Track & Field team. Additionally, the duo helped the Lady Flames track & field squad earn recognition as a USTFCCCA Women's All-Academic team.

Ricksecker (Laurel, Del.) and Watson (Ravenna, Mich.) were both honored for the first time in their respective careers. They made the team by posting a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or higher and qualifying for the NCAA East Regional Track & Field Championship.

As a team, the Lady Flames were recognized for the second year in a row, as head coach Brant Tolsma's squad carries a 3.066 cumulative GPA. The Liberty women's cross country team was also tabbed a USTFCCCA All-Academic team this past fall.

Ricksecker, an elementary education major, has a 3.96 cumulative grade-point average. She has earned a number of academic recognitions this season, including second-team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District honors. The middle-distance specialist was also a part of the Big South All-Academic team for both indoor and outdoor track & field.

On the track, Ricksecker accumulated a trio of All-Big South notations this year. She recorded a third-place finish in the mile at the Big South Indoor Track & Field Championship. At the Big South outdoor meet, Ricksecker repeated as 1,500-meter champion and took runner-up honors at the 800-meter distance. The junior was honored as Big South Women's Track & Field Athlete of the Week on May 21.

Ricksecker moved up to the No. 3 spot on Liberty's all-time performance list by clocking a personal-best 4:25.47 for 1,500 meters at the ECAC Outdoor Track & Field Championship. The junior went on to garner her second ECAC sixth-place finish of the year in the event, after crossing the line sixth in the mile at the ECAC Indoor Track & Field Championship. For the second straight year, Ricksecker wrapped up her season at the NCAA East Regional Championship, where she placed 15th in the 1,500-meter run.

Classmate Watson, a sport management major, owns a 3.35 GPA. She has been a Big South Presidential Honor Roll member each of her first two years at Liberty.

Also a standout in the middle-distance events, Watson captured three Big South event titles in 2008. At the Big South Indoor Track & Field Championship, she won the 800-meter run and anchored the 4 x 400 relay unit to victory. Watson then raced to her third straight 800-meter crown at the Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championship.

Watson, the Big South Women's Track & Field Athlete of the Week on both March 11 and May 7, became only the second Lady Flame ever to win a running event at the ECAC Indoor Track & Field Championship. She took first place in the 800-meter run, one day after lowering the Liberty and Big South records to 2:08.34.

The school record was one of four standards Watson set during the 2008 track & field season. The other three marks came during relays. Watson helped the Lady Flames' 4 x 400 squad post an indoor school-record clocking of 3:47.16. She also had a hand in a pair of record-setting efforts at the Penn Relays. Watson's 4 x 200 team notched a school-record 1:37.99, and her distance medley relay quartet stopped the watch in 11:30.56.