May 30, 2013
WACO, Texas - Baylor track and field student-athletes Christina Holland, Mariah Kelly, Blake Niccum and Taylor Jackson were named to the Capital One Academic All-District 7 First Team, the College Sports Information Directors of America announced on Thursday.
Making the first team allows all four BU athletes to advance to the Capital One Academic All-America Team ballot, where first, second and third team All- America honorees will be selected in June.
The two women's athletes were part of a first-team that featured 11 members from nine different schools, while the men's team had 10 athletes from six schools. District 7 encompasses schools from the states of Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Wyoming.
Holland, a communications major from San Antonio, Texas, graduated from Baylor in 2013 spring commencement ceremonies. She maintained a 3.48 GPA, while also producing on the track. Earlier this year, Holland captured the 2013 Big 12 400-meter hurdle title in a school-record time of 56.81. She is an 11-time All-Big 12 performer, tallying three of those honors this season. She currently holds the country's 10th-best 400-hurdle time and will compete next week at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the event.
On the academic side, Holland has been honored twice on the Academic All-Big 12 first team, while earning a spot on the 2012 USTFCCCA All-Academic team.
Kelly is a middle distance runner from Niagara Falls, Ontario. As a junior, she is majoring in Health Science Studies and owns a 3.68 GPA. Kelly was the 2013 Big 12 Indoor champion in the 1,000 meters. She is a five-time All-Big 12 honoree and finished as the runner-up in the 1,500 meters at the Big 12 Outdoor Championships.
Off the track, Kelly has twice been named an Academic All-Big 12 first-team member for both track and cross country. She was also recognized on the USTFCCCA All-Academic team in 2012.
Niccum, a Houston, Texas, product, was a top-five runner for BU in five of six cross country meets. He graduated from Baylor in the spring of 2013 with a degree in engineering. Niccum maintained a 4.0 GPA during his time at BU and won the 2012 Big 12 Scholar Athlete of the Year award in cross country. He was a 2012 recipient of the Dr. Gerald Lage Award, the Big 12's highest academic honor. He was also a two-time Academic All-Big 12 first team honoree in both cross country and track.
Jackson, an El Paso, Texas, native graduated earlier this month, while majoring in biology. Throughout his time at Baylor, he held a 3.95 GPA. In competition, Jackson led Baylor with a 46th-place finish at 2013 NCAA South Central Regional during cross country season. On the track he won the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the 2013 Michael Johnson Classic.
He was a three-time Academic All-Big 12 first-team member in cross country and twice was honored on the first team in track. He also received the 2012 Dr. Gerald Lage Award.
Student-athletes are nominated by the institution's sports information director and must be a starter or important reserve with at least a 3.30 cumulative GPA at his/her current institution. Student-athletes must have completed at least one year at their institution and participated in at least 50 percent of the team's competitions.
Follow the official Twitter account of the track squad: @BaylorTrack for an inside look at the team.