SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Furman's Allie Buchalski and VMI's Luke Phillips have been selected to the 2016-17 Academic All-America Division I Track & Field/Cross Country Second Team, as announced today by the CoSIDA Academic All-America Committee.
Buchalski, a native of Johns Island, Ga., holds a 3.63 GPA in business administration. Earlier this month she finished sixth with a time of 15:48.07 in the 5,000m at the NCAA Championships to earn All-American honors in the event for the second-straight year.
A five-time All-American, Buchalski notched All-American accolades in cross country in 2015 then became Furman's first indoor All-American during the 2017 indoor season, when she garnered All-American citations in both the 3,000m and 5,000m. She won individual Southern Conference cross country titles in both 2014 & 2015 and has helped the Paladins to four-straight SoCon cross country championships. Buchalski holds Furman school records in both the 3,000m and 5,000m indoors and in the 5,000m, 3,000m steeplechase, and 4x800m outdoors.
“Allie represents everything we strive for with our student-athletes at Furman,” said Furman head coach Robert Gary. “This weekend represents both sides with this announcement and competing against the very best U.S. runners.”
Buchalski, who will compete in the 5,000m at the USA Track & Field Championships in Sacramento on Friday, is the first Paladin women's track and field/cross country athlete to earn an Academic All-American citation since Rebekah Potts was named to the program's third team in 2004. Buchalski becomes the first Paladin in any sport to be named to an Academic All-American team since 2012, when Lee Gilmer was named to the men's track and field/cross country third team.
Phillips becomes VMI's fourth Academic All-American in the past six years, three of which have come from the track and field program, and is the first Keydet athlete in any sport to make the Academic All-American Second Team or higher since Chris Brandriff (track) and Tommy Cunningham (wrestling) both made the first team for their sports in 2006.
Phillips, a double major in biology and chemistry, graduated with a sterling 3.98 GPA. He also was named the top Army ROTC cadet in the country this past fall. He also had a breakthrough season on the track, posting personal bests in four different events and participating in the DMR that scored at the indoor IC4A Championships.
Phillips joins Ty Denby (twice), Brandriff, Kevin Sullivan, Cabell Willis and the late Carrie Wortham as the only VMI track and field athletes ever to make one of the three Academic All-American teams.
Nominations and voting for the Academic All-America programs are conducted by members of the College Sports Information Directors of America.