July 26, 2012
NEW ORLEANS, La. - Paige Blackburn and Kimber Shealy, two recent graduates of the Air Force track and field team, were named to the 2012 U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association's Division I Women's All-Academic Team, the league announced today (July 26).
This is the third such honor for both Shealy and Blackburn, as they became the program's first athletes to earn USTFCCCA All-Academic distinction three times in a career. Shealy, who graduated with a 3.74 GPA in history, also received the honor during her freshman and sophomore years, while Blackburn, who completed her four-year career with a 3.50 GPA in civil engineering, was also awarded distinction as a sophomore and junior.
Blackburn and Shealy were two of 676 athletes, from 171 institutions, to earn All-Academic Team status from the USTFCCCA. They were also two of three service academy athletes to earn the league's academic honor.
Both Falcons represented the Academy at the NCAA Outdoor Championship's West Preliminary. Blackburn finished 14th in the javelin throw and 23rd in the discus throw at the national semifinals, while Shealy placed 20th in the pole vault. In addition, the pair was ranked among the national leaders during the indoor season, as Shealy was ranked 26th in the pole vault and Blackburn was listed 41st in the shot put and 49th in the weight throw.
Blackburn, the 2012 Mountain West champion in the javelin throw, scored for the Falcons in all six throwing events at the indoor and outdoor conference meets, earning all-conference honors in the discus and javelin. A two-time Capital One Academic All-District selection, Blackburn set the Academy's weight throw record at 62'3" and ended her career ranked second all-time in the indoor shot put (51'2¾"), outdoor shot put (48'5¼"), discus throw (174'8"), hammer throw (184'3") and javelin throw (170'5").
Shealy, another two-time Capital One Academic All-District selection, set the Academy record in the outdoor pole vault with a winning clearance of 13'1¾" at the Front Range Classic. In addition to breaking the FRC meet record, she became the first athlete since 2002 to break a facility record at the Cadet Outdoor Track and Field Complex. An all-conference selection at the MW Indoor Championships, Shealy also recorded the second-best indoor clearance in Academy history at 13'5¾".
Blackburn and Shealy were joined on the USTFCCCA All-Academic Team by Air Force's rising sophomore Kobi Rex, who was selected to the men's team on Tuesday.