Aspen Abbott and Jessa Perkinson, after recently completing standout seasons for Southern Oregon University's cross country and track and field teams, were named Tuesday to the Academic All-America second team by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
The CoSIDA program recognizes student-athletes for their combined performances athletically and in the classroom. To qualify, a minimum grade-point average of 3.3 is required. Ten first-team and 10 second-team performers were selected across the NAIA.
Abbott and Perkinson are just the third and fourth women's CoSIDA Academic All-Americans in SOU history. Last month, Kelsey Randall was voted onto the NAIA softball second team.
Abbott, a product of Gardnerville, Nev., graduated Saturday with a pre-physical therapy degree and a 3.9 GPA. She concluded her four-year SOU career in May at the NAIA Outdoor Championships with a ninth-place finish in the 800 meters — the top finish ever for a Raider in the event — in a time of 2 minutes, 13.73 seconds, breaking her own school record. She also helped SOU's 4x400 relay team to ninth place, and two weeks ago she won Cascade Conference titles in both races. Abbott became an NAIA All-American for the first time this year at the NAIA Indoor Championships, where she was part of SOU's runner-up distance medley relay team.
Perkinson, a junior from Roseburg, is a psychology major with a 3.7 GPA and a nine-time NAIA All-American following her performances at the NAIA Outdoor Championships. Her banner season started with a third-place finish at the NAIA Cross Country Championships; continued with a fourth-place effort in the mile and second place in the distance medley relay at the NAIA Indoor Championships; and ended with a 5K championship — her second, after winning the 10K in 2016 — and a sixth-place showing in the 1,500 at the NAIA Outdoor Championship. Already the most accomplished runner in Raider history, Perkinson owns Raider records in the 1,500 (4:30.11), the 5K (16:37.47) and the 10K (36:10.83).