EDITOR’S NOTE: This is one of a series of posts recapping the top stories in Oklahoma Christian athletics during the 2013 calendar year.
OKLAHOMA CITY (Dec. 25, 2013) – A trio of Oklahoma Christian track and field student-athletes accomplished a remarkable and unusual repeat performance in 2013, making the prestigious Capital One Academic All-America first-team list for NCAA Division II a year after doing the same at the NAIA level.
The academic and athletic accomplishments of Brayden Barrientez, Tracy Marshall and David McWilliams were No. 7 on the list of top stories in OC athletics in 2013.
The Academic All-America teams are selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). The teams are selected based on a combination of academic and athletic accomplishment. Before 2012, OC had never had three first-team Academic All-Americans in one sport in one academic year, but Barrientez, Marshall and McWilliams made the track and field/cross country first-team College Division list, which honors NAIA student-athletes.
Then in 2013, in OC’s first year of eligibility, the trio became the university’s first Academic All-America selections in any sport at the NCAA Division II level – and all three, again, received first-team honors.
How unique was that? OC had more first-team honorees than any other institution on the Division II list and only one other university – Central Missouri State – had as many as three honorees on the first-, second- and third-team lists combined.
In OC athletic history, only three other student-athletes ever had twice been named to a first-team Academic All-America list – and McWilliams, Marshall and Barrientez doubled that number.
Barrientez, a senior biology major from Wichita, Kan., had a 3.85 grade-point average and finished the 2013 campaign having earned 10 NAIA or NCCAA All-America awards in cross country and track and field – the second-highest total in OC history.
Marshall, a senior electrical engineering major from Hutchinson, Kan., had a 3.97 GPA. He earned team points in three events this season at NCCAA national meets – the long jump and triple jump at the Indoor Championships and the long jump at the Outdoor Championships,
McWilliams, a senior Bible major from Naperville, Ill., finished with a perfect 4.0 GPA. He earned NAIA or NCCAA All-America honors in cross country and track six times during his career and, like Barrientez, was a part of two national-championship cross country teams at OC.