Three Villanova Student-Athletes Earn Academic All-America Honors

VILLANOVA, Pa. – In addition to the honors she has received for her incredible success in athletic competition over the past year, Villanova senior Sheila Reid continues to be recognized for her excellence in the classroom as well. On June 23, Reid was named a first team Capital One Academic All-American for track & field/cross country, as voted on by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).

Earlier this month, Villanova senior men's lacrosse player Brian Karalunas and senior men's track athlete Matthew Gibney also earned Academic All-American accolades.  The Capital One Academic All-America program recognizes student-athletes for having at least a 3.3 grade-point average while also having outstanding accomplishments in competition.

Reid is coming off an academic year in which she registered a 4.0 grade-point average during the fall semester while combining to win four national titles, five All-America honors and six BIG EAST titles. She is currently a "Top 3" finalist for the Honda-Broderick Cup, the annual award that designates the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year. Reid was a recipient of the Honda Sports Award for both cross country and track & field and was the USTFCCCA National Athlete of the Year for cross country and outdoor track.

During the cross country season, Reid won the individual national championship while leading Villanova to its second consecutive NCAA team title. She continued her remarkable year during indoors by anchoring the Wildcats to a national championship in the distance medley relay. At the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships earlier this month, Reid became the first woman in history to win both the 1500 meters and the 5000 meters in the same year.

Karalunas was one of 15 student-athletes named to the 2011 Men's At-Large Capital One Academic All-America First Team. The Men's At-Large program for the Academic All-America team includes the sports of fencing, golf, gymnastics, ice hockey, lacrosse, rifle, skiing, tennis and water polo. 

The 2010-11 American Eagle Outfitters BIG EAST Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year, Karalunas carried a 3.94 cumulative GPA. He finished his career as Villanova's first three-time USILA All-American and a back-to-back BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year (2010 and 2011). Additionally, Karalunas was honored as the 2011 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, given annually to the most outstanding senior student-athlete in NCAA Division I men's lacrosse.

Gibney was recently named to the Capital One Academic All-America third team, after finishing his 2010-11 campaign with a terrific outdoor season while also maintaining a cumulative 3.78 GPA. This is a top academic honor for Gibney, who is coming off an All-American performance in the 1500 meters at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships. He also led Villanova to a Championship of America title in the distance medley relay at the Penn Relays in late April, anchoring the Wildcats to their 94th championship all-time at the Penn Relays and the 24th in the DMR.