Monks, Wentz Collect Academic All-America Accolades

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – MIT seniors Maria Monks and Jacqui Wentz were named to the ESPN the Magazine Academic All-America Women’s Track and Field and Cross Country teams this morning, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Monks was a First Team honoree while Wentz was tabbed for the Second Team, as their selections now bring MIT’s total of Academic All-American on the year to eight.

Monks finished 13th at the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championship to become the Institute’s first Women’s Cross Country All-American since 1998. The senior Mathematics major was also named the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Runner of the Year, after finishing first overall at the conference Championship meet. A four-time All-Conference and three-time All-New England recipient, Monks graduated earlier this month with a perfect. 5.0 GPA. A Goldwater Scholar, she received the Alice T. Schafer Prize for Women in Mathematics and was an Honorable Mention selection for the Morgan Prize.

A First Team Academic All-District pick in 2009, Wentz became the first individual national champion in program history at last month’s NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championship, winning the 3000m Steeplechase in convincing fashion. An outstanding dual-sport star, Wentz has five All-America honors to her credit, four on the track and one at this year’s national Cross Country meet. Wentz was the New England Division III Cross Country champion this year and the NEWMAC Runner of the Year in 2008. She has also earned seven All-Conference honors in her career. Wentz graduated with degrees in Biological Engineering and Physics, carrying a cumulative 4.6/5.0 GPA.

With the awards for Monks and Wentz, MIT now has 164 Academic All-America recipients in the 30-year history of the program, the fourth highest total all-time, and the most among Division III institutions. The women’s cross country and track and field teams have accounted for nine of those honors, including six in the last three years.