Willer Named Academic All-American

Nebraska pole vaulter Natalie Willer became the third member of the 2010 track and field team and the 22nd all-time women's track and field student-athlete to earn CoSIDA Academic All-America honors on Thursday. Willer was named to the ESPN the Magazine Academic All-America third-team after being a second-team ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District VII pick in 2009. Her selection comes after teammates Nicholas Gordon and Bjorn Barrefors were named to the men's team earlier in the week on Tuesday.


A junior from Elkhorn, Neb., Willer is a two-time Big 12 champion in the vault, five-time NCAA qualifier and was the 2009 Pan-Am Junior Champion in the vault. She also holds the indoor and outdoor school records in the pole vault, with leaps of 14-3 1/4 and 14-4 1/2, respectively.  Her outdoor mark also stands as the American Junior Record.


Along with finishing second in the vault at this season's indoor and outdoor Big 12 Championships, Willer earned her first career All-America honor with a sixth-place showing at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore. In the classroom this year, Willer earned first-team academic All-Big 12 honors for the second straight year, while carrying a 3.89 GPA in biological sciences and psychology.


Willer will look to continue here 2010 success this weekend in Des Moines, Iowa, where she will compete on Sunday at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.


During the 2009-10 school year, eight Nebraska student-athletes were named CoSIDA Academic All-Americans, increasing Nebraska's nation-leading total of CoSIDA Academic All-Americans to 277 across all sports. Nebraska's eight selections were tops in the Big 12 Conference this year.