Redlands track athletes earn academic honors

Junior Jake Baechle (Aurora, OH) and junior Richard Valenti (Palm Desert, CA) of the University of Redlands track & field team received NCAA Division III U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Men’s All-Academic laurels as a result of their academic and athletic success, according to an announcement made today by the USTFCCCA.
 
Requirements for USTFCCCA All-Academic distinction include a minimum of a 3.30 cumulative GPA and an automatic or provisional qualifying mark for either the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships or the NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field Championships.
 
As a Business major, Baechle has compiled a 3.347 cumulative GPA and has become one of the most talented 800m runners in program history. A two-time Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Champion in the event, he has qualified for the NCAA Championships in each of his two seasons running for the Bulldogs. In 2009, he barely missed the cutoff for finals at the national championship meet, placing ninth with a time of 1:51.38. Baechle’s season-best standard of 1:51.28 is the third-fastest in program history. This is Baechle’s second USTFCCCA All-Academic citation.
 
Valenti, a History major, owns a 3.476 cumulative GPA and is not a stranger to receiving awards recognizing his talents both in and out of the classroom. He is a two-time Redlands Scholar-Athlete and earned a spot on the ESPN The Magazine/College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-District VIII Track & Field First Team for the College Division just one month ago. His first-place heave of 157′ 5″ in the Discus Throw at the SCIAC Top-4 Meet cracked the provisional qualifying mark for the 2009 NCAA Championships. He competed at the 2008 NCAA Championships in the Discus Throw, placing 11th. This is Valenti’s second USTFCCCA All-Academic recognition.
 
The Redlands men’s track & field team took second at the 2009 SCIAC Championships and provisionally qualified four for the 2009 NCAA Championships.