Montclair, NJ (8/8/11) – Sophomore Heather Gearity (Rutherford, NJ / Rutherford) added one final honor for her outstanding 2011 season as she was named to the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Association All-Academic Track and Field Team.
To qualify for the USTFCCCA All-Academic Track and Field Team, the student-athlete must have compiled a cumulative grade point average of 3.30 and have met an NCAA automatic or provisional qualifying marks in an individual or relay event. Participation in an NCAA Championship also fulfills the athletic component of All-Academic qualification.
Gearity had a truly outstanding campaign both indoors and outdoors for the Montclair State women's track and field team. During the indoor track and field season, she was key member of the Red Hawk squad that ranked as one of the top teams in the Atlantic Region throughout the year. Competing in seven events during the year, Gearity set personal bests in six of those, including the 400 meters where she would win the NJAC Championship with an NCAA Provisional Qualifying time of time of 57.97 seconds which ranked among the Top 30. She also competed as a member of MSU’s conference champion 4x400 meter relay which produced an NCAA provisional time of 3:57.89. In addition to competing in both the long jump and the high jump, she also was a member of the Red Hawks’ 4x200 meter relay which placed second with an ECAC Championship qualifying time of 1:44.70.
For her efforts, Gearity was named the Outstanding Female Track Athlete for the championships. Two weeks later, she and her 4x400 relay teammates broke the 19-year old school record in the event as they registered a time of 3:55.96. Still however, the All-Conference selection in three events, added one more to performance putting herself on the provisional list for the NCAA Indoor Championships in the pentathlon with a score of 3,095 points.
In the outdoor season, Gearity came within a second of becoming just the fourth female to win an NCAA outdoor championship as she finished second in the 400 meter hurdles at the national championship meet with a personal-best time of 1:00.57 as she earned All-America honors. Named the NJAC's Rookie of the Year, Gearity won the NJAC crown in the event and helped the Red Hawks' 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams to conference titles with new school records.