CLEVELAND - For the first time since 2009, the Miami University men's track and field team placed four RedHawks on the Academic All-Mid-American Conference team, as seniors Brian Gallagher and Jordan Goffena, junior Matt Marol and sophomore Rob Stein were all honored by the league Wednesday.
The award is the first track Academic All-MAC honor for each RedHawk while Marol earned Academic All-MAC for cross country this past fall. Miami's four recipients are its most since also putting four on the team in 2009 while Miami tied for the third-most honorees on the 26-man team. Buffalo and Kent State each had four athletes recognized as well, while Eastern Michigan led the way with eight and Central Michigan placed five on the squad.
Gallagher (Westlake, Ohio), who graduated in May with a degree in zoology, finished with a 3.69 grade-point average while earning above a 3.9 GPA both semesters his final year. He overcame an injury in the first half of the season to run in four meets to close out his injury-plagued career. He placed 12th in the 1500m run at the MAC Championships in a personal-best 3:57.87. He also took third in the 1500m at the RedHawk Invitational (4:02.67) and was 13th in the 1500m run at the All-Ohio Championships (3:59.04). Gallagher earned the Spirit of Miami Award for his dedication and passion to Miami and his team during all his injuries.
Goffena (Sidney, Ohio), who boasts a 3.63 GPA while double majoring in zoology and life science education, earned a perfect 4.0 GPA this past spring semester and was on the Dean's List in the fall. He was twice named MAC Male Scholar-Athlete of the Week during the year and was a two-time MAC Field Athlete of the Week, as well. He was also tabbed Second-Team All-MAC after finishing as the runner-up in the decathlon at the MAC Championships with 7,215 points. Goffena qualified for the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds as well, placing 36th in the 110m hurdles while his time of 14.14 ranks him second in school history. He placed third in the 110m hurdles at the MAC Championships in addition to his decathlon showing. He also won the decathlon at the All-Ohio Championships with a personal-best score of 7,314 points, which ranks third in school history and ranks 33rd nationally this year, and at the Charlotte 49er Classic.
Marol (Evanston, Ill.), who earned a 4.0 GPA during the spring, carries a 3.78 GPA while majoring in management and leadership. He finished fifth in the 10,000m run at the MAC Championships (31:28.00) and 12th in the 5,000m run (15:31.60). He took third in the 10K at the All-Ohio Championships in a personal-best 31:21.48 and ran a personal-best 5K time of 14:39.37 to place 15th at the Jesse Owens Classic. Marol also earned seventh place in the 5K at the Nikoloff Invitational and the 3,000m run at the Vanderbilt Black & Gold Invitational in a personal-best 8:38.80.
Stein (Villa Park, Ill.) is a marketing major with a 3.52 GPA. He qualified for the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds in the discus for the second straight year while placing ninth in the hammer throw and 10th in both the shot put and discus at the MAC Championships. He recorded a personal-best discus throw of 51.99m/170-7 at the Jesse Owens Classic to place sixth while his mark ranks 10th in school history. He posted a personal-best hammer throw of 55.32m/181-6 to take fifth at the season-opening Vanderbilt Black & Gold Invitational. Stein also logged a season-best shot put heave of 16.41m/53-10.25 to take fourth at the Nikoloff Invitational.
In addition to the four honorees, five RedHawks received Honorable Mention Academic All-MAC as juniors Jack Spilman and Sam Wildeman and sophomores Robert Balzano, Wade Coffin and Daniel Garleb were all eligible for the award.
To be nominated for Academic All-MAC, a student-athlete must have at least a 3.20 cumulative GPA and have participated in at least 50 percent of the team's meets. First-year students and junior college transfers in their first year of residence are not eligible for the award. The nominees are then voted on by the league's faculty athletic representatives. Outstanding academic and athletic accomplishments for only the current season are considered.