AUSTIN, TEXAS (June 18, 2018) – Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) graduate student Ione Rodriguez (SR/Port Isabel, Texas) has been selected to the 2017-2018 Google Cloud Academic All-America® College Division Track & Field/Cross Country Team as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
Rodriguez is only the third student-athlete at OLLU to earn this prestigious honor. The two others who received first-team recognition were soccer's Gary Hamilton in 2011 and Erika Thompson in 2015. Four others at OLLU have been named to the second team. They include tennis' Santiago Padilla V, soccer's Rebekah Valenta and Brooke Cousins and softball's Brittany Stone.
The Google Cloud Academic All-America® College Division Track & Field/Cross Country Teams are comprised of student-athletes from NAIA, Canadian and two-year institutions.
This year's first-team had a combined GPA of 3.95 and featured a trio of perfect 4.0 marks, including Rodriguez, who earned a 4.0 in her first year as a graduate student (and 3.769 as an undergraduate student). In May of 2016, she received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. She began her Master of Science in Psychology – Marriage and Family Therapy in August 2017.
Rodriguez joined the Saints cross-country team as a freshman in 2013 and remained a member of the team through 2015. She took 2016 off and returned to finish out her eligibility in 2017. Rodriguez led the Saints to three Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) Championships in 2013, 2015 and this past season, as well as to three trips to the NAIA National Championship Meet. She earned all-conference honors in 2015 and 2017.
Rodriguez helped kick off the inaugural season of the track and field team at OLLU in 2015, and she ran long distance for four seasons. This past May, Rodriguez led the team to its first-ever RRAC Championships. In 2016, she received all-conference honors in the 3000m, 5000m and 10000m; and in 2018, she got all-conference in the 3000m, 5000m, 10000m and the 4x800m relay. Rodriguez has also received RRAC Scholar Athlete awards for both cross-country and track and field all four seasons, and she has been a three-time Daktronics-NAIA Scholar Athlete.
As well as excelling in academics and athletics, Rodriguez has also succeeded in the community. Throughout this past academic year, she has been a youth care worker for the Southwest Key Programs – Casa Blanca in San Antonio and a youth and family case manager for Tropical Texas Behavioral Health Center in Harlingen, Texas. Her volunteer activities included leading workshops for at-risk, middle-school girls over empowerment, maintaining Latino culture and the importance of education as part of the Oiga Mi Voz Latina Youth Conference.
To be nominated, a student-athlete must be a starter or important reserve with at least a 3.30 cumulative GPA. Nominees must have participated in at least 50 percent of the team's events and must have completed one full calendar year at the current institution. The nominee must have reached sophomore athletic eligibility. Graduate students such as Rodriguez must have a cumulative GPA of 3.30 or better both as an undergraduate and in graduate school.
Ten women were selected to this year's first-team, while 12 were selected to the second-team. Click here for the complete list of honorees.