San Antonio – St. Mary’s University women’s cross country runner Tara Wicketts was named Heartland Conference Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year for her work in the classroom and on the cross country course.

Wicketts (Sr., Cibolo) received the prestigious honor for the first time as a Rattler. Already this year, she earned first team CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District honors for the second straight year, and was a Heartland Conference President’s Honor Roll student for the fourth straight year.

On the cross country course, Wicketts finished in the top 20 in five of the six meets last season for the Rattlers, including three top-10 finishes. She placed eighth overall at the Heartland Conference Championships, earning her All-Heartland Conference honors for the fourth-straight season; the first Rattler to accomplish that feat in cross country. Her highest finish on the course was a fourth place showing at the UTSA/Ricardo Romo Classic.

Off the course, Wicketts was an outstanding all-around student. She graduated in May with a 3.94 grade point average, majoring in psychology. She was a three-year member of the Honor Roll, vice-president of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), treasurer of Phi Alpha Delta Professional Pre-Law Fraternity, secretary of Phi Eta Sigma Honors Fraternity and a member of the Dean’s List.

To win the Scholar-Athlete of the Year award, a student-athlete must be a starter or important reserve for their team and have a minimum 3.30 cumulative grade point average.

The St. Mary’s Athletics Department had a very strong year academically in 2007-08. St. Mary’s had a total of five Academic All-District honorees for the 2007-08 academic year. Bobby Freeman (Sr., Fair Oaks Ranch) of baseball, Natalie Gamez (Jr., San Antonio) of women’s basketball, Sarah Cooper (Sr., Houston) of the softball team, Jessie Smith (Jr., Boerne) and Wicketts of the cross country team earned Academic All-District honors this year. The five honorees in one academic year is a new school record, eclipsing the mark of four, set last year.

The volleyball team was honored recently by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) with the Team Academic Award. Forty-four Rattler student-athletes were named to the Heartland Conference President’s Honor Roll, while 63 were named to the Heartland Conference Commissioner’s Honor Roll.

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