AZUSA, Calif. -- Azusa Pacific senior Riley McKee was recognized for excellence in competition and academics with his third team selection to the Capital One Academic All-America Division II Track & Field/Cross Country team, which was announced Wednesday.
“It’s gratifying to see an athlete like Riley get recognized with an award like this, because it speaks to who he is as a person,” Azusa Pacific men’s track and field head coach Kevin Reid said. “Riley was a leader within our program both on and off the track with his performance, leadership, and attitude, and I’m happy that he was chosen as a representative of our program with this kind of honor.”
McKee, a political science major from Albuquerque, New Mexico, was a five-time National Christian College Athletic Association All-American over the past two seasons, helping lead Azusa Pacific to a 2013 NCCAA indoor and outdoor national title sweep and third-place team finishes in the 2014 indoor and outdoor championships.
In 2014, he recorded a career-best performance of 1:52.26 in his specialty, the 800 meters, and he won the Pacific West Conference 800-meter title at the conference championship meet. He also posted a season-best of 49.43 in the 400 meters and was a two-time NCCAA Scholar-Athlete.
“This is a special honor for me, because I valued both the athletics and academics in my overall college experience,” said McKee, who graduated in May and moved back home to New Mexico and began working for a health care company. “To be awarded something that honors both of those areas is a huge honor. The most valuable thing I learned at Azusa Pacific was the importance of doing things the right way, which is not always the easy way. In my athletics experience, I expected to be competing at a high level immediately, and early on in college I wasn’t as committed to putting in the type of work that I later realized I needed to do. Learning to do small things the right way in order to make big gains in athletics and in classes has helped me start my career by learning how to do things the right way from the start.”
To be eligible for Capital One Academic All-America, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.30 on a scale of 4.00, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standings at their current institution and be nominated by the school’s sports information director.