June 8, 2007
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Santa Clara University senior cross country runner Shannon Bell added another honor to her long list of accomplishments, as she was named ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District VIII. Bell won the honor for the second straight year after another strong season athletically and academically. She was SCU's top finisher in four out of her five races in 2006 and has maintained a 4.0 GPA every quarter during her time at Santa Clara.
"Shannon is just an outstanding and unique person," said head coach Tom Service. "She is a great runner, student and a person who is always involved in community service. With her, it is always about so much more than just running and I think that she is very deserving of this honor."
Bell had an outstanding season in 2006, beginning with a fourth place finish at the San Francisco Cross Country Invitational with a time of 18:05.4 for the 5k. Bell battled through a head cold at the WCC Championships, coming in 35th with a 6k time of 24:28. However, she finished the season strong, leading the women's team at the NCAA West Regionals placing 85th overall with a 6k time of 23:27.99.
She was the Broncos team Most Valuable Player in 2003, 2005 and 2006, while also earning All-WCC First Team honors in 2003 and 2005. In 2003, 2005 and 2006, she was the team's top finisher at the NCAA West Regionals and the top finisher in 16 races for Santa Clara over that span. She owns the school record in the 3K and the 5K with times of 10:27 and 17:51 respectively and she tied a school record with a second place finish at the 2005 WCC Championships.
Academically, she has had a 4.0 GPA her entire SCU career while majoring in combined sciences. Her academic work earned her a spot on the WCC All-Academic team in 2003, 2005 and 2006. She has been accepted to graduate school at Northwestern University and will begin there in the fall of 2008. She will spend the upcoming year as part of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Juneau, Alaska.
Earlier this year, Bell received the Comcast Community All-Star award for her outstanding commitment to community service at SCU. She is part of the Santa Clarans for Social Justice, a group that works to educate people about social justice issues such as the genocide in Darfur and the death penalty. Bell is also a co-leader for the Fair Trade Coalition, where she spreads awareness of Fair Trade products, and works to push the campus to serve only Fair Trade coffee.