June 24, 2004
Junior Lauren King (Toronto, Ont.) was named to the 2004 CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America) Academic All-America second team on Thursday, June 24, earning the first Academic All-America certificate of her noteworthy career. She becomes the third student-athlete to earn the honor for the women’s cross country/track and field program.
King became the first Irish women’s cross country runner to claim three All-America honors at the NCAA cross country championship in the fall of 2003. Helping Notre Dame to a 10th place finish at the event, King finished first on the team and 28th overall as the Irish posted their second consecutive top-10 finish at the national championship race. A perennial All-American on the cross country course and track for Notre Dame since she stepped on campus, King earned Academic All-America honors this season by posting a 3.40 grade point average with a major in biology. She is a five-time All-American in cross country and track and field, which includes three top-30 finishes at the NCAA cross country meet (27th, 2001; 19th, 2002; 28th, 2003).
In addition to her stellar cross country resume, King has established herself as one of the best middle-distance specialists in the nation. She owns All-America honors in the indoor mile (after finishing seventh at the 2003 NCAA meet) and the outdoor 1,500 meters (taking sixth in 2002 – her first NCAA track and field championship meet). King also holds the school record in the indoor mile (4:38.37) and outdoor 1,500 meters (4:14.72).
King’s accomplishments go beyond her five All-America honors. She became the first Notre Dame women’s cross country runner to cross the finish line first at the BIG EAST Championship in 2002, helping the Irish secure the first of two consecutive titles (the team repeated in 2003). She has earned all-BIG EAST honors each season in which she has competed at the league’s cross country meet (she missed the meet as a freshman) and owns BIG EAST track and field titles in the indoor mile (2003 and 2004) and as a member of the 2003 distance medley relay team.
During the 2004 track and field season, King was among the best mile runners in the nation, posting race victories at the Notre Dame Invitational, Alex Wilson Invitational and BIG EAST Championship. She eventually moved on to the NCAA Championship where she finished second in her preliminary heat and 10th overall. She also competed at the NCAA indoor meet as a member of the distance medley relay team which finished 10th as well.
King’s 2004 outdoor season was derailed by injuries, but she returned to the track in time to finish eighth at the BIG EAST outdoor meet – scoring points toward Notre Dame’s third-place team finish.
King becomes the sixth student-athlete at Notre Dame to earn Academic All-America honors during the 2003-04 school year. Senior Vanessa Pruzinsky (Academic All-American of the Year), junior Mary Boland and sophomore Erika Bohn represented the women’s soccer team, senior Steve Sollman was selected from the baseball team and senior Todd Mobley earned the honor for the men’s cross country/track and field team. Pruzinsky, Sollman and Mobley were all first team selections while Boland, Bohn and King were named to the second team. Notre Dame has fielded 152 Academic All-America honorees since the program began, second all-time behind Nebraska (203 entering the 2003-04 season).
Notre Dame’s previous Academic All-Americans from the women’s cross country/track and field program were Alison Klemmer (1999 and 2000) and Theresa Rice (cross country, 1989).