Panthers Land Five On Academic All-League Team
MILWAUKEE, Wis. (July 25, 2008) - The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee placed a league-best five athletes on the Horizon League Academic All-League Team for outdoor track and field, the league office announced today.
Juniors Holly Nearman and Jenni Saarinen led the way, earning both indoor and outdoor honors for the second-straight season. Senior Shannon Buttchen and sophomore Laura Ring were also honorees for the indoor season, while junior Beth Zimmerman made both teams in 2007.
Nearman was named the 2008 Horizon League Outdoor Track and Field Athlete of the Year last month, capping a phenomenal junior campaign. She last competed at the NCAA Mideast Regional, breaking the school 5000m and taking eighth. Her finish was the highest of any league competitor in any event, while falling just one place shy of a bid to the NCAA Championships. She also earned all-league second-team honors in the 5000m as runner-up, while adding a third-place finish in the 1500m.
The Monroe, Wis., has been honored numerous times in her career for her academic achievements. She also boasts two selections to the cross country academic all-league team and this season was named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Second Team. Nearman is a journalism major with senior academic standing and boasts a 3.702 grade point average.
Saarinen added another league title to her trophy case, winning the high jump at the league championships in May, the seventh league title of her career. She was also named to the all-league second team in the javelin, finishing as runner-up to sophomore teammate Kory Olson. During the regular season, she broke her own school record in the heptathlon, scoring 5,021 points. That score fell just 29 points shy of qualifying her for the NCAA regionals.
In the classroom, the native of Finland is an elementary education major. Saarinen carries a 3.717 GPA and was an ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Second Team selection as a sophomore.
Buttchen saved her best season for her last, garnering a number of honors after her senior season. Thanks to a strong academic record, and her best season on the track, she was named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District First Team. She was also selected as UWM's Herman Kluge Award winner, presented to the top senior student-athlete in the department.
Athletically, she scored all-league second-team honors with the 4x400m relay and was fourth in the 800m. In the classroom, she has maintained a 3.952 GPA as a political science major.
Ring had a strong freshman season in 2007 and just got better in 2008. She was second in the 800m as a rookie at both the league's indoor and outdoor meets. This season, she won league 800m titles both indoors and outdoors, while adding second-team honors with the 4x400m relay outdoors in May. She also lowered her personal-best time in the 800m to the third-fastest time in school history. Ring is majoring in psychology and has a 3.739 GPA.
Zimmerman is no stranger to the academic all-league team, picking up her third award. She broke through this season for the first two league titles of her career. Outdoors, she won the long jump and placed second in the triple jump. She is now seventh in school history with nine top-two individual finishes in league competition. A nursing major from Watertown, Wis., she has a GPA of 3.288.