Track & Field Trio Named To USTFCCCA All-Academic Team

Kristina Vaughn placed first in the 3,000-meter race at the C-USA Outdoor Championship

July 26, 2012

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ---- A trio of UAB track and field student-athletes – Rachel Harley, Sarah Hudak and Kristina Vaughn – were named to the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-Academic Team.

The three Blazers were recognized for not only their excellence in the classroom, but also their success in their specific events within the sport of track and field.  Harley, Hudak and Vaughn all earned Conference USA First Team honors, competed at the NCAA East Preliminaries and recorded a GPA of 3.4 or higher.

"This is an outstanding honor and really speaks to these girls total abilities as a true student-athlete,” UAB head coach Kurt Thomas said. 

“They (Rachel, Sarah and Kristina) really epitomize what our world is all about.  They have worked very hard to achieve excellence in the classroom and leave UAB with outstanding degrees and set themselves up for success for the rest of their lives.  Add to that being NCAA qualifying athletes in their respective event is a great accomplishment, and icing on the cake,” Thomas said.

Rachel Harley, Jr.
The Mason, Ohio product placed first at the Conference USA Outdoor Championship in the 400-meter hurdles by posting a personal-best time of 59.26.  She was named an All-C-USA First Team performer and qualified for the NCAA East Preliminaries.

On the academic side, Harley recorded a 3.43 GPA as an exercise science major and was named to the C-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll.

Sarah Hudak, Sr.
Hudak earned All-C-USA First Team honors by placing first at the league’s outdoor championship thanks to a UAB school-record time of 4:21.84 in the 1,500-meter distance run.  She also showcased her talents in the 5,000-meter race, qualifying for the NCAA East Preliminaries in the event.



The Manchester, England native graduate student posted a 3.66 GPA while majoring in clinical nutrition and earned a spot on the C-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll.

Kristina Vaughn, Sr.
Another first team all-conference selection, Vaughn placed first in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 10:35.81 at the C-USA Outdoor Championship, setting a new UAB record in the event.  Vaughn, a native of Madison, Ala., qualified and competed in the NCAA East Preliminaries in the steeplechase.

Vaughn earned a spot on the C-USA All-Academic team, Capital One All-District IV Academic First Team, along with garnering the league’s academic medal and commissioner’s honor roll accolades.  She graduated with a degree in biology and accumulated a perfect 4.0 GPA in her senior season as a Blazer.

“Coach Tony Houchin did a great job getting Sarah and Kristina physically ready, and they went out and they physically and mentally got it done,” Thomas said.  “There are not a lot of athletes who work harder and do the little things better than Rachel, and it really paid off with her season in the 400-meter hurdles.”

To qualify for the USTFCCCA All-Academic Track and Field Team, the student-athlete must have compiled a cumulative grade point average of 3.25 and have met either of the following athletic standards: for the indoor season, a student-athlete must have finished the regular season ranked in the national top 96 in an individual event or ranked in the national top 48 (collective listing) in a relay event on the official NCAA POP list provided by; for the outdoor season, a student-athlete must have participated in any round of the NCAA Division I Championships (including preliminary rounds).