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Liberty Pair Voted Academic All-District

June 5, 2008  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Clendon Henderson (left) and Rebekah Ricksecker were both honored today for their success on the track and in the classroom.

Clendon Henderson (left) and Rebekah Ricksecker were both honored today for their success on the track and in the classroom.

Liberty had a pair of athletes included on the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District teams for track & field/cross country today. On the men's side, senior Clendon Henderson was a first-team selection, while Lady Flames junior Rebekah Ricksecker garnered second-team honors on the women's side.

Henderson (Meadow, Texas), a second-team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District honoree in 2007, now advances to the Academic All-America ballot. If selected, Henderson would become Liberty's first ever men's track & field/cross country Academic All-American.

Ricksecker's (Laurel, Del.) first career Academic All-District selection makes her the 10th Liberty athlete so honored by the organization this year. In addition to Henderson and Ricksecker, the list of Flames and Lady Flames who won ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District recognition this year includes Mike Gelatt (men's soccer), Suzanne Edwards (women's soccer), Allyson Fasnacht, Megan Frazee and Moriah Frazee (women's basketball) and David Giammaresi, Errol Hollinger and Clarence Nicely (baseball). Gelatt and Megan Frazee both went on to make their respective Academic All-America teams.

Henderson, who graduated in May with a 3.72 GPA in kinesiology, has earned a number of academic honors during his senior year. He swept the Big South Men's Scholar-Athlete of the Year awards for both indoor and outdoor track & field. The Lone Star State native also earned the Dr. Jerry Falwell Leadership Award at Liberty's Athletics Academic Awards Banquet.

Henderson has also enjoyed his finest season inside the throwing circle, setting school records for the indoor shot put (61-10.5) and the outdoor shot put (61-3) and discus (204-3). The senior was a two-time Big South Men's Track & Field Athlete of the Week and garnered five ECAC Men's Field Athlete of the Week recognitions.

Henderson has captured two individual Big South titles in 2008, winning the indoor shot put and the outdoor discus. He has finished no lower than second in a discus competition this season, and won the Texas Relays, Drake Relays and Big South titles.

The senior made his first trip to the NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championship in March, placing 14th in the shot put. Next week, Henderson will return to the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championship for the second consecutive year, hoping to improve upon his 10th-place finish from 2007. Henderson, seeded No. 3, will begin competition in the discus at 2:30 p.m. next Wednesday, at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.

Ricksecker, an elementary education major, maintains a 3.96 GPA. A two-time Big South Presidential Honor Roll member, the junior was included on the Big South All-Academic team for both indoor and outdoor track & field, this season.

Ricksecker was twice honored as the Big South's athlete of the week. She was tabbed Big South Women's Cross Country Runner of the Week on Sept. 12 and nabbed Big South Women's Track & Field Athlete of the Week accolades on May 21.

The middle-distance specialist also accumulated four All-Big South notations this year. Ricksecker placed seventh at the Big South Cross Country Championship, helping Liberty retain its team title. She later added 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.

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.

ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Men's Track & Field/Cross Country Teams

District 3 University Division
First Team

Javier Garcia-Tunon, Florida State, Sr., 4.0/MBA
Clendon Henderson, Liberty, Sr., 3.72/Kinesiology
Kevin Sullivan, VMI, Sr., 3.98/Computer Science
Blair Paul, Coastal Carolina, Sr., 3.92/Marine Science
Phillip Warsaw, Wake Forest, Jr., 3.90/Mathematical Economics
Sam Bryfczynski, Clemson, Sr., 3.84/Computer Science
Ian Burrell, Georgia, Sr., 3.54/Criminal Justice
Tamas Kovacs, High Point, Jr., 3.93/International Business
Eric Garren, Elon, Sr., 3.96/Business Administration/Finance
Ian Reynolds, North Carolina, Sr., 3.68/Political Science
Matt Boruff, Appalachian State, So., 3.86/Business

Second Team
Jason Richardson, South Carolina, Jr., 3.47/Sport & Entertainment Management
Christo Landry, William & Mary, Sr., 3.53/Finance & Economics
Jacob English, Georgia State, Sr., 3.45/Exercise Science
Ryan Jank, Charlotte, Jr., 3.81/Finance & Marketing
Mark DellaVolpe, Duke, Sr., 3.62/Economics
Taylor Narewski, Georgia Tech, Sr., 4.0/Public Policy
Matej Muza, Virginia Tech, Jr., 3.71/Geography
David Herren, Georgia Tech, Sr., 3.50/Health Systems
Mark Maddox, Appalachian State, Sr., 3.70/Exercise Science
Matt Dobler, Charlotte, So., 4.0/Athletic Training

ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Women's Track & Field/Cross Country Teams

District 3 University Division
First Team
Brenna Burns, Davidson, Sr., 3.98/Psychology
Lamarra Currie, Charlotte, Jr., 4.0/Psychology
Lauren Bosshardt, Wofford, Sr., 3.98/Biology
Felicitas Mensing, Coastal Carolina, Jr., 4.0/Applied Mathematics
Sherlenia Green, Virginia Tech, Sr., 4.0/Health & Physical Education
Madie McKeever, Duke, Jr., 3.86/Biology
Jess Weber, UNC Greensboro, Sr., 4.0/Conflict Resolution
Marcie Veitch, Coastal Carolina, Jr., 4.0/Biology
Kristen Zieminski, UCF, Sr., 4.0/Business Administration
Katelyn Ealer, Elon, Sr., 3.96/Psychology

Second Team
Jill Ahrens, Wake Forest, Sr., 3.86/Accountancy
Natasha Harvey, Jacksonville, Jr., 3.43/Exercise Science
Morgan Stengel, North Carolina, Jr., 3.95/Business
Rachel Hannah, Georgia State, Sr., 3.55/Nutrition
Lydia Willemse, Florida State, Jr., 3.58/Chemistry
Elisha Tegeder, Coastal Carolina, Sr., 3.67/Special Education
Kelly Phillips, Virginia Tech, So., 4.0/Biology
Natalie Picchetti, Georgia, Sr., 3.69/Psychology
Rebekah Ricksecker, Liberty, Jr., 3.96/Elementary Education
Tasmin Fanning, Virginia Tech, Jr., 3.44/Human Nutrition, Foods & Exercise Comm.
Deborah Jones, Mercer, Sr., 3.87/English
Caitlin Chrisman, Wake Forest, Sr., 3.42/Business
Kaitlyn Heeke, Appalachian State, Sr., 3.82/Accounting