CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Sophomore All-Conference selection Hassan Omar (Frederick, Md./Thomas Johnson) headlined a quartet of UMBC cross country athletes selected to the 2013 America East All-Academic Team, the conference office announced on Wednesday morning.
Joining Omar on the men's team is junior Eric Schuler (Columbia, Md./Reservoir), who also earned a spot in 2012, while senior Kirsten McGovern (Sykesville, Md./Century) also received a mention for the second straight year on the women's team. Sophomore Nicole Dawson (Jessup, Md./Hammond) joined McGovern as a first-time selection.
Omar's honor comes just two weeks after taking third overall at the conference championships in which he led UMBC to its first America East team title since 2005. Then, last week at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regionals at Lehigh, the sophomore paced the Retrievers for the fourth time this season, placing 22nd overall with a school record 10k time of 30:30. On Monday, he was named to the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-Mid-Atlantic Region Team. Omar had previously claimed a school record earlier in the year, smashing the 8k record at the Princeton Invitational with a time of 24:21.
Omar has been equally successful in the classroom during his time at UMBC, accumulating a 3.69 grade-point-average (GPA) while working towards a degree in mechanical engineering. In his first semester on campus in the fall of 2012, Omar posted a perfect 4.0 GPA and was honored on the President's List.
Schuler joins Omar after pacing the field and leading UMBC to the team title at the America East Pre-Conference Meet to open the season on Sept. 7. The junior then followed it up by scoring in each of the Retrievers' next two competitions. Now a two-time selection to All-Academic Team, Schuler has also worked diligently in his studies and holds a 4.0 GPA while majoring in computer science. During his time in Baltimore, Schuler earned a spot on the President's List for his work during three semesters – Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012.
For the women, McGovern garners a spot on the team for the second year in a row after scoring in each of UMBC's final four meets of the season. After posting a season-best 6k time of 23:10.45 at the Salty Dog Invitational at Navy on Sept. 14, the senior earned a top-50 finish (45th) at the conference meet in which UMBC achieved its best-ever team finish by taking fifth. Studying for a degree in environmental science, McGovern has compiled a 3.95 GPA in her first three years at UMBC. She has also been working towards receiving minor in linguistics and earning an honors college certificate, receiving a mention on the President's List three times and once on the Dean's List.
Dawson receives a spot on the women's squad in just her second year at UMBC after scoring in each of the Retrievers' competitions for the second consecutive season. After earning a top-five team finish in all seven races as a freshman, Dawson kicked off her sophomore campaign by leading UMBC across the line at both the America East Pre-Conference Meet and the Salty Dog Invitational. At the race at Navy, the sophomore posted a career-best 6k time of 21:58.88, the seventh-fastest time in school history. She continued to aid the women's team the rest of the way, scoring in the four remaining races, including earning a 30th-place finish at the conference championships as the Retrievers finished fifth – their best finish in America East competition.
In her studies, Dawson has accumulated a 3.87 GPA while working towards a degree in information systems and earning an honors college certificate. After receiving Semester Academic Honors in her first semester, the fall of 2012, Dawson earned a perfect 4.0 during the spring term.