CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Five members of the MIT men's track and field and cross country programs were recently honored with Academic All-District accolades as selected by regional members of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) organization.
Seniors States Lee (Charlotte, N.C.) and D. Carrington Motley (Pittsburgh, Pa.) as well as juniors Colin Godwin (Cary, N.C.), Arinze Okeke (Hawthorne, Calif.) and sophomore William Ruschel (Bethel Park, Pa.) were all honored with the CoSIDA Academic All-District selection and will now appear on the national ballot for consideration for CoSIDA Academic All-America honors, which will be released on June 22, 2016. Lee and Motley both earned Academic All-District accolades for the second time, while Godwin, Okeke and Ruschel were named to the Academic All-District team for the first time their respective collegiate careers.
Lee became an All-American for the sixth time in his career and fifth time as a member of the 4x400-meter relay team. The senior helped set the MIT record in the event this past weekend at the 2016 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championship with a time of 3:11.74. During the indoor season, Lee also broke the program record in the 400-meter dash (48.00) and the 4x400-meter relay (3:14.43). Lee rounded out his indoor collegiate career as an NCAA qualifier in the 400m and 4x400m relay at the 2016 NCAA Division III Championship. A mechanical engineering major, captain and three time New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Academic All-Conference selection, Lee is a product and Hardware Designer as well as the Managing Director of Community Outreach in the MIT Media Lab and the Co-Coordinator of the Freshman Leadership Program on campus.
Motley, who was both an Academic All-District and Academic All-America selection last year, qualified for the NCAA Division III Championship for the third time in his career this past weekend and placed 12th in the triple jump at Wartburg College. This season he placed fourth at the New England Division III Championship with a mark of 14.01m, while his season-best distance came at the ECAC Division III Championship at 14.45m. The senior currently ranks third all-time at MIT in the triple jump at 14.81m (48-feet, 7.25-inches) and has won a combined 16 events in four years in both the triple and long jumps. Motley, who sports a perfect GPA, completed research into tire tread optimization for driving in sand, is a counselor for the Freshman Urban Program and is a member of the Black Student Union, Chi Phi and Pi Tau Sigma.
Godwin, a member of both the men's cross country and track and field programs at MIT, was the first place finisher at the NEWMAC Championship and in turn was named the conference's Runner of the Year. Later this past fall, Godwin crossed the line 12th at the NCAA Division III New England Championship (25:08.5), earning All-Region accolades, and 54th at the NCAA Division III Championship (25:13.50). A two-time NEWMAC and USTFCCCA All-Academic selection, Godwin also qualified for the NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field Championship last year where he placed 10th in 4:15.36. Off the track, the junior is a Research Assistant at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research and at the Institute for Molecular Biology and Biophysics in Russia, a member of MIT EMS and the Vice President of New House on campus.
Okeke, majoring in biological engineering as well as chemistry and mechanical engineering, earned All-America honors in the triple jump at both NCAA Division III Championships this year. Most recently, the junior finished fourth at the Outdoor Championship with a personal best leap of 48-feet, 7.5-inches (14.82m) which ranks second all-time at MIT. Okeke also claimed the NEWMAC Championship in both the long jump and triple jump before being named as the conference's Field Athlete of the Year. During the indoor season, the junior was tabbed as the USTFCCCA Field Athlete of the Year and as an All-Region student-athlete. When Okeke is not jumping for MIT track and field, the junior is a Research Lab Assistant in the Voigt Lab – in the Department of Biological Engineering - creating programs to optimize Boolean logic circuits and model and optimize protein dynamics using ordinary differential equations.
Ruschel joined Okeke and Motley in the triple jump at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championship this past weekend and for the first time in his career earned All-America honors. The sophomore finished eighth overall with a personal best jump of 48-feet, 5.50-inches (14.77m) to make it onto the podium. Ruschel also qualified for the NCAA Division III Indoor Championship where he placed 12th in the triple jump (13.97m). A NEWMAC Academic All-Conference, New England All-Region, two-time time NEWMAC All-Conference and 2015 NEWMAC Triple Jump Champion, is fourth all-time on the MIT outdoor triple jump list and sixth all-time on the indoor list. Off the track, Ruschel modeled prototype robots in Solid Works for a semester long competition, is an intern at MIT SENSEAble City Lab designing & modeling a second generation prototype for a waste sampling device and has conducted research for a Bio-Tech company to find potential partners as part of MIT Consulting Group.
CoSIDA, which began its recognition of NCAA scholar athletes in the 1950's, has honored thousands of deserving recipients across all divisions in 12 sports. To be eligible, a student-athlete must be a starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.30 on a 4.00 scale, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standing at his/her institution and be nominated by his/her Sports Information Director.