Taft High grad and Western Oregon University sophomore Gabe Arce-Torres parlayed his freshman season on the track last spring into being honored Tuesday for his academic success by the U.S. Track and Field & Cross Country Coaches Association.
Five Western Oregon student-athletes earned academic honors from the USTFCCCA at its annual meetings in New Orleans, with both the men’s and women’s track and field teams cited.
The women fielded a 3.37 GPA, while the men’s team posted a 3.12 GPA. In order to be considered for an academic award, teams must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0.
To earn individual honors, students must have compiled a GPA of 3.25 and have reached provisional or automatic qualifying standards for the NCAA Championships in either the indoor or outdoor seasons.
Arce-Torres, made the list as a freshman majoring in exercise science after setting a season-best in the 400 at the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Championships, where he clocked a time of 48.93.
His top mark in the 200 came in the Linfield Open, where he crossed in 22.88. He added a 1:58.67 in the 800 at the Bryan Clay Invitational, and competed in one cross country event at the Warner Pacific Classic, clocking 28:58.90.
Arce-Torres, 18, became the youngest athlete in Western Oregon school history to compete in the NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships when he ran the second leg of the 400-meter distance medley relay last March in Pittsburg, Kansas.
A pulled hamstring suffered late in his final District qualifying run as a high school senior cost Arce-Torres, a prohibitive favorite, a chance at three Class 3A State prep titles.