With Santa Clara cross country/track receiving the honor for the fourth time in seven years, Santa Clara's senior runner and Summa Cum Laude graduate Kevin Oliver was named to the Capital One CoSIDA Academic All-American Second Team on Friday. He was the only student-athlete from the West Coast Conference selected for the national academic honor and the only male in the state of California named to the team.
"Anytime you can be recognized both academically along with athletics, it is very rewarding so I proud of this honor," said Oliver, a Tualatin, Ore. Native. "When looking at colleges to attend in high school, it was important I had balance between the two (academics and athletics). Santa Clara provided the perfect balance and I am really glad that is showing up in the results."
Fresh off finishing 17th at the NCAA West Region Outdoor Track Championships in the 10,000m May 23, Oliver finished with a 3.980 grade point average as a double major in Economics and Political Science. He was Santa Clara's Senior Academic Award Winner and he will be attending Law School at the University of Chicago next fall. "He did this all while running as much at 100 miles a week and countless hours of supplemental training in addition to all the miles he has put in," said Bronco head coach Felipe Montoro. "On top of all of that, he has probably managed to have the most fun of anyone in the program. A consummate student-athlete, Kevin represents the best of Santa Clara!"
"Kevin is obviously a very intelligent person, but he also gains satisfaction from doing his best at everything, and he is highly competitive with others as well as himself," added Montroro. "The result is that he performs at a very high level in just about everything he does. It's great that his achievements have been recognized, we are all very proud of him."
Past Broncos who have received national Academic All-American honors include Shannon Bell (2007, second team), Rhodes Scholar Noelle Lopez (2009, third team) and WCC champion and All-American Stephanie Wilson (2011, second team).
Oliver isn't alone on his team as an academic wiz. The men's cross country team led the Bronco men's teams with a 3.244 GPA during the Winter 2013 quarter. It was the sixth straight quarter they have led the men's side. They also have the top cumulative GPA at 3.303.
The key to being a top notch distance runner is finding the fine line between training hard and training smart in an effort to stay injury free. "There is a lot of luck involved," said Oliver. "It really helps to have intelligent, in-tune coaches and certainly Felipe and Pete have been this. They really listen to us. Communication is key and they are understanding and receptive. It really helped to have that kind of support at Santa Clara."
Oliver will take some time off this summer before heading to Chicago for law school. He is going on a European vacation with Bronco teammates Austin Jones and Mary Reynolds. "We fly to Madrid and then go to Paris and then Geneva. We will see a leg of the Tour de France in France and then head to Munich before flying out of Brussels. We are really excited about seeing and doing so much."
Oliver had some parting words for Santa Clara as well. "I owe a big thanks to Santa Clara - the University and the Athletics Department. Most of the credit for my success has to go to my coach Felipe Montoro as well. I owe a big, big thanks to him."