Engineers Land Seven on XC/Track & Field Academic All-District Teams

Collage of seven MIT cross country and track and field headshots, for an awards release.

Cambridge, Mass. (June 1) -- Seven members of the MIT men's and women's cross country/track and field teams have been named to the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-District Teams. This marks the fifth straight year that MIT cross country and track and field has had at least seven Academic All-District selections.

For the women's team, the honorees include senior Katie Bacher (Macungie, Pa.), junior Katie Collins (Newton, Mass.), sophomore Izzi Gengaro (Boonton Township, N.J.), senior Jenna Melanson (Woodland, Wash.) and senior Margaret Trautner (Houston, Texas). On the men's side, junior Yorai Shaoul (Raanana, Israel) and senior Billy Woltz (Logan, Ohio) are both recognized.

Bacher, an electrical engineering and computer science major who graduated with a perfect 5.0 GPA (on MIT's 5.0 scale), is now a three-time Academic All-District honoree. She was named as a CoSIDA First Team Academic All-America in 2018-19 after being a Second Team selection in 2017-18. Bacher competed in four NCAA Cross Country National Championships, was a four-time NEWMAC All-Conference XC performer and a three-time USTFCCCA All-Region honoree. In track and field this season, she qualified for NCAA Indoor Nationals in the mile and was a three-time New England D3 performer.

Collins, a brain and cognitive sciences major with holds a 5.0 GPA, is being named to the Academic All-District Team for the first time. In cross country, she finished 15th at the 2019 NCAA National Championship to earn All-America honors while also being a three-time USTFCCCA All-Region performer. Collins is also a three-time NEWMAC All-Conference runner and this season, she was named as a 2020-21 Goldwater Scholar. On the track, she qualified for the NCAA Championship this season in the 5,000 meters and was an All-New England D3 performer in that event. 

Gengaro, a chemical engineering major who also has a 5.0 GPA, is a first-time All-District selection as well. In the 2019 cross country season, Gengaro was named as a USTFCCCA All-American after posting the top MIT finish in program history as she finished 10th at the NCAA National Championship. In addition, she won the NCAA New England Regional Championship and captured the NEWMAC Championship title to earn Athlete of the Year honors. 

Melanson, a biological engineering major with a 5.0 GPA, joins Bacher as one of two three-time Academic All-District selections this year. She was a First Team Academic All-America in the 2018-19 season, as well as a Second Team honoree in 2017-18. In her cross country career, Melanson was a three-time NEWMAC All-Conference runner who was the NEWMAC Championship runner-up in 2018. On the track during the 2019-20 indoor season, she was an NCAA qualifier in the 3,000 meters and was All-New England D3 in both the 3,000 meters and 5,000 meters. For her career, she was a four-time track All-American.

Trautner, a mathematics major with a 5.0 cumulative GPA, is an Academic All-District selection for the second straight season and she was a First Team Academic All-America in 2018-19. In 2019-20, Trautner qualified for NCAA Indoor Nationals in both the distance medley relay and mile while also being an All-New England D3 selection in the 800m, mile, 4x800 and DMR. Overall, she finishes her career as a four-time All-American, a seven-time NCAA Qualifier and the winner of the 2019 indoor track and field NCAA Elite 90 Award.

Shaoul, an electrical engineering and computer science major with a 4.92 GPA, is an Academic All-Distrct honoree for the second time and was a First Team Academic All-America in 2018-19. A two-time NCAA National Champion in the triple jump and a seven-time All-American, Shaoul qualified for NCAA Indoor Nationals this season in both the triple and long jumps and won the New England D3 Championship in the triple jump. He is also a three-time NCAA National Runner-Up, a 10-time All-Region performer and was the 2018-19 USTFCCCA New England Indoor and Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year.

Woltz, who is a physics, electrical engineering and computer science major with a 5.0 GPA, is now a two-time All-District performer who was a Second Team Academic All-America in 2018-19. This season in cross country, Woltz was a team captain who placed 17th at the NEWMAC Championship and was a NEWMAC Academic All-Conference performer. In addition, he was named as a 2020 American Rhodes Scholar. He was also named as the 2018 NEWMAC Athlete of the Year and is a two-time USTFCCCA All-Region cross country performer.

The CoSIDA Academic All-America program separately recognizes honorees in four divisions - NCAA Division I, NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III and the NAIA.
Honorees selected first-team Academic All-District will advance to the CoSIDA Academic All-America ballot. Academic All-America honorees will be announced from June 22-25.

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