June 28, 2013
TOWSON, Md. - Seniors Taylor Jackson and Blake Niccum were named to the Capital One Academic All-America Track and Field and Cross Country Team, as chosen by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) on Thursday.
The BU duo becomes only the second and third male track and field athletes to receive the honor, after Chris Gowell was named to the team in 2010. Women's athlete Erin Bedell also made that team, making 2010 the last time Baylor has had multiple individuals on the squad.
Niccum, a spring 2013 graduate with a degree in engineering, earned a spot on the second team. After posting a 4.0 GPA throughout his undergraduate career, Niccum becomes the first Baylor male track athlete to garner second-team recognition.
Niccum, a Houston, Texas, product, was a top-five runner for the Bears in five of six cross country meets. During his time at BU he won the 2012 Big 12 Scholar Athlete of the Year award in cross country. He was also a 2012 recipient of the Dr. Gerald Lage Award, the Big 12's highest academic honor. Niccum was a two-time Academic All-Big 12 first team honoree in both cross country and track.
Jackson, an El Paso, Texas, native graduated in May with a degree in biology. Throughout his time at Baylor, he held a 3.95 GPA. In competition, Jackson led the Bears 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. Jackson also received the 2012 Dr. Gerald Lage Award.
To be eligible for Academic All-America® consideration, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative G.P.A. of 3.30 on a scale of 4.00, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standings at his/her current institution and be nominated by his/her sports information director.
Since the program's inception in 1952, CoSIDA has bestowed Academic All-America honors on more than 18,000 student-athletes in Divisions I, II, III and NAIA, covering all NCAA championship sports.
To stay up to date with all things Baylor track follow the official Twitter account of the team: @BaylorTrack.