Three Cougs Named to Verizon Dist. VIII Academic All-American

May 29, 2003

PULLMAN, Wash. -- Washington State's Eric Dudley, Whitney Evans and Ellannee Richardson have been named to the respective 2003 Verizon Men's or Women's Track & Field/Cross Country Academic All-American First Teams for District VIII as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).

All three Cougars are nationally ranked competitors who are competing at the 2003 NCAA West Regional Outdoor Track & Field Championships this weekend at Stanford. Additionally, all three earned WSU Senior Excellence in Academic Awards this spring, are recipients of the Pac-10 Conference Postgraduate scholarships, and Dudley and Richardson are nominated for NCAA Postgraduate scholarships. WSU has also nominated Evans and Richardson for the NCAA Women of the Year award.

Dudley is a redshirt senior from Bellingham, Wash., who earned All-America athletic honors with his fifth place finish in the 400m intermediate hurdles at the 2001 NCAA Track and Field Championships. This year he finished second in the intermediate hurdles at the Pacific-10 Conference Meet with a PR time of 49.59 seconds. He won the conference title in 2001 but was injured and not able to compete in 2002. Dudley's time is second on WSU's all-time list behind Boyd Gittins' 1968 time of 49.27, the collegiate record at that time and the oldest record on the Cougar men's all-time lists. He has a 3.97 cumulative grade point average and is majoring in mechanical engineering, and a member of the honors college at WSU. He has been named to the District VIII Academic All-America team three times and to the national first team in 2001. Off the oval this spring, Dudley was named the Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) Outstanding Senior Athlete, a Cougar Pride Academic Salute honoree, and was named a WSU President's Award winner for leadership and service to the campus and community.

Evans is a redshirt senior from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, with a 3.93 GPA as a graduate student in the school of Business. She graduated Summa Cum Laude in May 2002 with a BA in Finance and a 3.97 GPA. She is a seven-time All-American with six in the high jump and one in the heptathlon. Evans has been the Pac-10 Conference high jump championship three times. Her top high jump mark of 6-0 3/4 gained her fourth place at the NCAA Indoor Championships in March, and is second in school all-time standings. Evans is a three-time District VIII first team selection and was named to the 2002 Verizon National Academic All-American first team in 2002 and third team in 2001. She was a 2003 Cougar Pride Academic Salute honoree.

Richardson is a redshirt senior from Gladstone, Ore., and a graduate student in criminal justice minoring in political science. She carries a 3.67 GPA in graduate school after graduating with a BA in sociology last August. Richardson is four-time All-American in the heptathlon and earned another All-America certificate anchoring the 4x400m relay team to seventh place at the 2003 NCAA Indoor Championships. She claimed her third consecutive Pac-10 Heptathlon title earlier this month and was named the Pac-10 Female Track & Field Athlete of the Week for May 5-11. Richardson's 5,766 points makes her the current national leader and she is ranked third-best heptathlete (top collegiate) in the United States in 2003 by Track & Field News. She set a school heptathlon record of 5,821 points last season at the Pac-10 Championships. Off the track, Richardson was named to the 2003 Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar Track & Field first team and won the Cougar Pride Academic Trophy for the top student-athlete among the top 12 student-athletes of junior or senior class standing with at least a 3.00 cumulative GPA who exhibit profound accomplishment in the community, classroom, and on the playing field.

In order to be eligible for Verizon/CoSIDA Academic All-American honors, a student-athlete must have at least a 3.20 cumulative grade point average (on a 4.0 scale), must be a significant contributor to the team, and be in at least their second season at their current school. District VIII includes schools in the states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and British Columbia.

The District VIII first team student-athletes (10) advance to the Verizon All-American national ballot with the final teams announced the week of June 16-20, 2003.

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