CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – A pair of MIT track and field student-athletes received the prestigious Elite 89 awards from the NCAA at last week's NCAA Division III indoor championship, becoming the first pair of students from the same institution to garner this recognition in the same sport. Juniors Kyle Hannon (Park Ridge, Ill.) and Lauren Kuntz (Pittsburgh, Pa.) were recognized by the NCAA as the student-athletes with the highest cumulative grade point average competing at the final site for each of the NCAA's 89 championships.
This marks the second consecutive season that Hannon has received this honor from the NCAA at the indoor track and field championship, after being tabbed as a sophomore. An electrical engineering and computer science major, Hannon carries a 4.9 grade point average on a 5.0 scale. Hannon was part of Tech's fifth-place distance medley relay team that earned All-America honors at last weekend's championship meet.
Kuntz holds a perfect 5.0 GPA in mechanical engineering and physics and placed 13th overall in the pole vault at the national championship.
No other institution has ever had both the men's and women's Elite 89 winner in a single sport in the same year. MIT track & field has now received the honor four times, as Vladimir Sobes was also tabbed at last year's outdoor championship.
The Elite 89, an award founded by the NCAA, recognizes the true essence of the student-athlete by honoring the individual who has reached the pinnacle of competition at the national championship level in his or her sport, while also achieving the highest academic standard among his or her peers. Eligible student-athletes are sophomores or above who have participated in their sport for at least two years with their school. They must be an active member of the team, traveling and a designated member of the squad size at the championship. All ties are broken by the number of credits completed.