May 29, 2003
Three University of Notre Dame track and field/cross country athletes have been named to the 2002 Verizon Academic All-District V squad by a vote by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Senior graduate student Luke Watson (Stillwater, Minn.) was named to the first team, while sophomore Lauren King (Toronto, Ont.) and senior Jaime Volkmer (Kearney, Neb.) landed a spot on the second team. Watson will advance to the national ballot for Academic All-America consideration.
King, who earned All-America honors in both cross country and track and field this past season, boasts a 3.222 grade point average with a major in biology. King was a key member of Notre Dame’s NCAA third-place cross country team a year this past fall and finished sixth in the finals of the indoor mile during the NCAA indoor meet. She will be running this weekend in the 1,500 meters at the Mideast Regional, looking to advance to her third NCAA Championship meet of the season.
Volkmer has owned both the University indoor and outdoor pole vault records since she stepped on campus four years ago. She broke through for her first BIG EAST title at the indoor meet this season and was the first Irish women’s pole vaulter to clear the four-meter barrier. She also is competing this weekend at the Mideast Regional in the pole vault (she qualified in the triple jump as well). Volkmer compiled a 3.441 GPA this year with a sociology major.
Watson adds his first-team all-district selection to his every-increasing list of accomplishments. One of the top distance runners in Notre Dame history, Watson gained national recognition earlier this season when he shattered the four-minute mile barrier at the Meyo Invitational. His 3:57.83 effort was ranked as the top time in the world at one point during the 2003 indoor season. He was featured in Sports Illustrated’s “Faces in the Crowd” after his big mile victory.
A fifth-year senior, Watson worked toward his master’s degree in accounting this year after graduating with a 3.530 GPA last spring. He will be running in the 5,000 meters at this weekend’s regional, hoping to earn a spot in the national championship meet and a chance at his eighth All-America certificate.