UPLAND, Ind. – Four members of the Taylor men's track and field team were named to the College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-District II team this week, as Micah Bragg, Benjamin Byrd, Tanner Dye, and Matt Hall each earned the honor.
The Trojans claimed four of the 11 available spots on the College Division District II Team, which consists of student-athletes at NAIA institutions in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Tennessee.
With 28 Academic All-District award winners during the 2016-17 year, Taylor leads the NAIA and trails only Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Johns Hopkins for the most Academic All-District honorees in the nation at any level.
The CoSIDA Academic All-District award is designed to recognize student-athletes for outstanding achievements in the classroom, as well as on the field of play. In order to be eligible for the honor, an athlete must have a cumulative grade-point average of 3.30 or higher on a 4.0 scale, have reached sophomore status academically, and have participated as a key contributor during the current season.
Bragg earned Academic All-District honors following a successful sophomore campaign that saw the Xenia, Ohio native earn high finishes in the 10,000-meters for the TU track and field team at the Indiana Little State meet as well as the Crossroads League Championship while also maintaining a 3.93 grade-point average in political science, philosophy, and economics. Bragg also helped the TU men's cross country team to a second place finish at the Crossroads League Championship and an 18th place finish at the NAIA National Championship.
Byrd represented Taylor in the 2016 cross country national championship, the 2017 indoor track and field national championships, and the 2017 outdoor track and field national championships while carrying a 3.97 grade-point average in business finance. The sophomore earned a pair of All-Crossroads League honors during the outdoor track and field championships and added a 16th place finish in the 1,500-meter run at the NAIA outdoor national championships.
Dye repeated as a CoSIDA Academic All-District selection after earning CoSIDA Academic All-American honors last season. The senior carries a 3.99 GPA in mathematics and helped the TU cross country team to an 18th place finish at the NAIA national championship last fall. Dye also earned All-Crossroads League honors in the 4x800-meter relay at the Crossroads League outdoor track and field championships.
A CoSIDA Academic All-American honoree last season, Hall capped a stellar career with a third place finish and All-American honors in the 5,000-meters at the NAIA outdoor track and field national championships. Hall carries a 3.87 grade-point average in computer science and earned All-American honors in cross country, the 5,000-meter run at the NAIA indoor track and field national championships, and the 5,000-meters at the NAIA outdoor track and field national championships. Hall was selected as the Gates-Howard Award winner as TU's top male student-athletes for the 2016-17 season.
Bragg, Byrd, Dye, and Hall will now be eligible for CoSIDA Academic All-American honors which will be selected and announced later this month. Seven Taylor student-athletes have earned CoSIDA Academic All-American recognition during the 2016-17 season.