AUSTIN, Texas — Rachel Meyers, who competed for Oklahoma Christian the past four seasons, was named Wednesday to the Google Cloud Academic All-America third-team list for track and field/cross country honor list by the College Sports Information Directors of America.
Meyers, from Fort Smith, Ark., is only the fifth Academic All-American in the history of OC's women's track and field and cross country programs, joining OC Athletic Hall of Famer Kathy (Nelson) Belcoff (1998, second team), Charlotte Heron (2009, first team), Cady Block (2012, third team) and Erin Sesemann (2012, third team).
She also joins her husband, Sawyer Pehkonen, as an Academic All-American. Pehkonen earned second-team recognition for 2017-18, after his senior season of track and field at OC. Coordinators of CoSIDA's Academic All-America program don't have records of how many married couples each have received the honor, but Meyers and Pehkonen certainly are the first in OC history to do so.
The CoSIDA honor recognizes student-athletes for their combined performances athletically and in the classroom and is considered one of the most prestigious in collegiate athletics. To qualify for the honor, a student-athlete must have at least a 3.3 grade-point average on a 4.0 scale, have reached sophomore status athletically, have legitimate athletic credentials and have been at the nominating institution at least one calendar year.
At least one OC track and field/cross country student-athlete — male or female — has made the Academic All-America list in every year but one since 2012.
"Congratulations to Rachel on receiving such a prestigious award. She has worked very hard to be her best in the classroom and on the track and cross country course," OC cross country and track and field coach Wade Miller said. "She displayed a great amount of perseverance and commitment throughout her career and this award is a testament to her work ethic and character. We are thankful to have student-athletes like Rachel representing Oklahoma Christian."
OC competes in the Great American Conference in track and field and the Heartland Conference in cross country, with Meyers participating in both sports.
Meyers, a Nursing major, graduated in April with a 3.97 GPA. As a senior, she earned All-GAC second-team honors in the indoor distance medley relay (13:01.52) and as a junior, she was on the relay team that set the OC record of 12:30.39 in the outdoor DMR.
In her final 800-meter race, she posted a career-best time of 2:27.24 (at Wichita State's K.T. Woodman Classic) and she finished 17th in the 1,500 meters at this year's GAC Outdoor Championships in Shawnee, Okla., with a time of 5:13.75. She was 11th in the mile in a career-best time of 5:38.52 in this year's GAC Indoor Championships in Norman, Okla.
She played a critical role on OC's cross country team in 2018 as the squad's only senior, helping the Eagles to a sixth-place finish in the Heartland Conference Championship meet, two spots higher than the previous year.
She made the Heartland Academic Honor Roll's President's List all eight semesters of her career and was a two-time GAC Distinguished Scholar. She soon will be a three-time recipient of the GAC Academic All-Conference honor and the Division II Athletic Directors Association Academic Achievement Award.