DETROIT (Courtesy Detroit Mercy Media Relations) -- Junior Ben Kendell (Huntington Woods, Mich. / Shrine (International School of Turin) earned one of the highest academic accolades you can achieve in a single season as the distance runner was named to the CoSIDA Division I Cross Country/Track and Field Academic All-America® Third Team on Friday.
Full CoSIDA Release
The award was voted on by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
Of the 45 Academic All-America® selections, 26 have grade-point averages of 3.9 or higher, which includes Kendell's 3.99 in Electrical Engineering.
Kendell was a nominee for the Academic All-America® Team after he was named to the CoSIDA All-District for Track & Field/Cross Country in late May.
Kendell had a fantastic season in cross country in 2016 as he was First Team All-Horizon League, finishing runner-up for the second-straight year at the Horizon League Championship. He is now the first Titan to post three top-five finishes at the conference meet.
He also placed 35th at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional Championship in a career-best time of 31:26, giving him three top-100 finishes in his career at the GLR, just the fourth Titan in school history to accomplish that. Overall, he posted a pair of wins and runner-up finishes in cross country, just the sixth runner in school history to tally multiple victories in a season, while setting the school 8k record of 24:15 at the Greater Louisville Classic.
Once the calendar turned to 2017 and the track season began, he won the 3,000-meters at the Horizon League Indoor Championships and added a fourth-place finish in the 5,000m. Overall in the indoor season, he recorded four wins and three runner-up efforts setting career bests in the mile, 3k and 5k. He is still the Titans' all-time leader in the 3k, 5k and 10k.
He was the Horizon League Fall Scholar-Athlete of the Year for the second-straight season and was a member of the Athletic Director's Honor Roll and the Horizon League Fall Academic Honor Roll as well as the HL All-Academic Team for cross country and track and field.
He is now the fifth Titan track and field student-athlete to earn Academic All-America® honors in school history and the first since Andrew Hayner (Second Team) and Ryan Byrne (Third Team) in 2008.
The other two Titans who earned the high praise was Jaymi Dumper (Third Team) in the Cross Country/Track & Field (At-Large) in 2001 and Ken DuBois, who claimed Second Team in 1988 and Third team in 1999 in the Cross Country/Track & Field At-Large pool.