June 23, 2011

MIT Lands NCAA-Best Three Athletes on CoSIDA Academic All-America Women’s Track and Field List

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The accolades continued to pour in for the MIT women's track & field program on Thursday, as three Engineers were named to the Capital One Academic All-America team as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). No other Institution in the country was able to match Tech's three honorees, as seniors Hazel Briner and Karin Fisher, as well as junior Portia Jones, were recognized for their outstanding athletic and academic achievements. With the selections of Briner, Fisher and Jones, MIT has now placed 11 individuals on the CoSIDA Academic All-America squads during the 2010-11 year, tying the high-water mark for the Institute, which was also achieved in 2007-08 and 2008-09.

Jones continues to add accomplishments to an outstanding resume compiled in just her first three years at MIT, with her Second Team nod. She has 14 All-America honors to her credit and has been named the New England Track Athlete of the Year on four separate occasions. A five-time New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Champion, Jones owns the Institute record in 11 different events. She has also maintained a 4.4 GPA in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

Fisher, who was tabbed to the Third Team along with Briner, was one of the top pole vaulters in the country the past two years. She earned All-America honors in the event three times and finished as the national runner-up at the 2011 NCAA Division III Indoor Championship. Voted as the 2011 Betsy Shumacker Woman Athlete of the Year at MIT, Fisher maintained a 4.4 GPA during her undergraduate tenure and graduated from MIT last month with degrees in Electrical Science & Engineering and Physics.

Briner was one of the best all-around athletes to pass through the Tech track and field program, displaying her versatility by regularly competing in and dominating the pentathlon and heptathlon events. She was a two-time New England Division III champion in each event and owns the MIT record in both. She also landed on the All-America podium four times in three different events, finishing among the top eight nationally in the pentathlon, 4x400 relay and pole vault. She was the recipient of MIT's Pewter Bowl Award, given to the female senior who has shown the highest qualities of inspiration and leadership. Briner graduated with a 4.5 GPA in Biology and Mechanical Engineering.

The selection of Briner, Fisher and Jones brings Tech's total to 175 Academic All-America honorees, the third most in NCAA history and tops in Division III. The Cardinal and Gray trail only the University of Nebraska and Notre Dame. The women's track and field and cross country programs have accounted for 12 of those distinctions, including five in the past two years.