CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The America East conference announced Wednesday afternoon that junior pole vaulter Rita Ciambra (Hanover, N.H.) of the University of New Hampshire women’s indoor track & field team was named to the America East Indoor Track & Field All-Academic Team for the second straight year.

Ciambra, who was also an All-Conference selection, is a biology major with a 3.71 grade point average. At the America East Championships Feb. 21, Ciambra set an America East championship record in the pole vault by clearing a height of 3.80 meters to win her second straight America East indoor title. Ciambra also won her second straight New England indoor title with a mark of 3.81 meters Feb. 28.

The All-Academic squads are a product of the June 2005 Athletics Director meetings, where faculty representatives and athletics directors from each of the conference’s nine member institutions decided to honor the league’s top student-athletes, whom excel equally in the classroom as they do on the playing field.

For the last two academic years, the All-Academic Team has been selected based on a formula. Starting this year, America East has adopted a more subjective approach based on feedback from various coaches’ groups and administrators and approval by the athletic directors. The process will now resemble the CoSIDA’s Academic All-America program. Student-athletes worthy of consideration will now be nominated by member sports information directors and voted on by committee of SIDs, academic advisors and faculty representatives from all nine member institutions.

All-Academic squads for team sports are based on the number of athletes that participate in a contest at one time or are made up of 10 student-athletes for individual sports. To be nominated for the distinction, student-athletes must be a starter or important reserve for their team and participate in at least 50 percent of their team’s games or competitions. In the classroom, student-athletes must have a 3.30 GPA and have completed at least one calendar year at their institution. Freshman are not eligible for consideration.

Ciambra and the Wildcats kick off the outdoor season on Saturday, March 28 at noon with a dual meet at the University of Maine’s Beckett Track and Field Complex.


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