June 20, 2006

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Three runners on the University of Notre Dame men’s track & field team have earned places on the ESPN The Magazine/College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-America® Track/Cross Country Team, it was announced Tuesday. Senior Sean O’Donnell (Kansas City, Mo./Rockhurst) garnered Academic All-America® honors for the second consecutive year, as he was named to the second team after collecting third-team laurels in 2005. Meanwhile, senior Tim Moore (Novi, Mich./Novi) and junior Thomas Chamney (Tipperary, Ireland/St. Columba’s) both picked up their first Academic All-America® honors with third-team selections this year.

With the maximum of three athletes earning Academic All-America® designation, Notre Dame was one of only three schools in the country to fill out its allotment of national academic honorees in men’s track & field/cross country. NCAA outdoor track & field champion Florida State and Oregon were the only other programs to match Notre Dame’s success on the track and in the classroom.

The Irish track & field program has a lengthy history of Academic All-America® citations, beginning with Theresa Rice’s first-team award in 1989. There have now been 15 Irish harriers have garnered the prestigious national academic honor a total of 21 times, with this year’s trio of men’s track athletes marking the most Notre Dame has ever produced in a single season. As an institution, Notre Dame ranks second all-time with 170 Academic All-America honorees, including 12 during the 2005-06 academic year. The Irish could add more honorees to that total when the women’s track & field Academic All-America® squad is announced Thursday.

Voting for the ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-America® Team was conducted by CoSIDA, a 2,000-member organization consisting of sports public relations professionals for colleges and universities in the United States and Canada. To qualify, student-athletes must hold at least sophomore status, own a minimum GPA of 3.2 or better, and be a key contributor on the track for their team.

Just the fifth multiple Academic All-American in program history, O’Donnell was a mainstay in the Irish lineup for both cross country and track, focusing on the longer distance events. He placed in the top 20 in four cross country races, including a seventh-place showing at the BIG EAST Championships, where he picked up his second all-league plaque and helped Notre Dame win its second consecutive team title, prior to a third-place finish at the NCAA Championships (the program’s best finish since 1990). Furthermore, he was part of the Irish men’s outdoor track & field squad that also won the conference championship, and he qualified for the NCAA Mideast Regional in the 5,000 meters for the second consecutive year. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the College of Engineering last year with a 3.53 cumulative GPA, and earning third-team Academic All-America® plaudits along the way, O’Donnell has begun work on his MBA and currently holds a 3.48 GPA in his graduate studies.

Moore was a two-time cross country All-American (2004, 2005) and joins Chamney as the ninth and 10th Notre Dame men’s track/cross country athletes to garner All-America and Academic All-America® status in the same year (first since Todd Mobley in 2004). Moore, who wrapped up his college career with a 15th-place finish in the 10,000-meter run at the NCAA Outdoor Championships earlier this month, also had provisional qualifying marks for this year’s NCAA Indoor Championships in both the 3,000 and 5,000 meters. What’s more, he carded four top-15 cross country finishes, including a fifth-place showing at the BIG EAST Championships. All told, he amassed four all-BIG EAST certificates in cross country (the first Irish runner to do so), as well as seven all-conference track awards, including three this year (two indoor, one outdoor). A Dean’s List choice, Moore recently earned his bachelor’s degree in finance and mathematics in the Mendoza College of Business with a 3.38 cumulative GPA.

Like Moore, Chamney pulled off the All-America/Academic All-America® double this year while developing into a top middle distance runner for Notre Dame. He was accorded All-America honors at this year’s NCAA Indoor Championships with his sixth-place finish in the 800 meters and then matched that placement (and repeated as an All-American) in the same event at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. In addition, he won the NCAA Mideast Regional 800-meter title (the first of his career), the BIG EAST indoor 800-meter crown and finished second in the same race at the conference’s outdoor meet, giving the native Irishman five career all-BIG EAST plaudits. Last year, the colorful Chamney returned to his homeland and won the 800-meter gold at the Irish Under-23 National Championships before going on to a strong fifth-place outing in that event at the European U23 Championships. He presently maintains a 3.52 cumulative GPA in the College of Arts and Letters, where he is majoring in history and film, television & theater.

— ND —