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Williams Throwing Champ Makes First Team Capital One Academic All-America

By Dick Quinn
Williams Sports Info
09:10AM / Wednesday, June 25, 2014
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Williams College women's track and field senior captain Amina Avril (Decatur, Ga.) has been named to the 15-member Women’s Track & Field/Cross Country Capital One Academic All-America First Team.  

Avril is the 28th Eph named an Academic All-American since the fall of 1993 and she is the 12th Eph to earn First Team recognition. Additionally, Avril is the sixth Eph women's track and field athlete to earn All-America honors and is the first to earn First Team status since Jenn Campbell in 2005.  

To be nominated for Academic All-America honors an athlete must have at least a 3.20 cumulative GPA, be at least a sophomore in academic standing, and be named to the First Team in his/her region. Avril, a political science major, is an eight-time All-American in throwing events.   

This year, Avril won the NCAA DIII weight throw at the Indoor Championships with a school record toss of 20.01 meters (65 feet, 7 inches) and then in the spring she won the hammer throw at the NCAA Outdoor Championships held at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio. Again, Avril established a school record with her winning effort, launching the hammer 58.52 meters (192 feet).   

"Amina's year was amazing," said Eph throws coach Matt Harmon. "Coming into your senior year with a new group of coaches is never an easy adjustment, but she had a great attitude. Amina had big goals for the season and with big goals come hard work and she didn't back down from the challenge. Winning the weight and hammer at the NCAAs is no small task. The talent this year was outstanding and Amina knew she was going to have to commit herself to her goals and she did. I’m incredibly proud of Amina and how she competed this year."

In her career in the Purple Valley, Avril was a three-time All-American in the weight throw and three-time All-American in the hammer throw, and twice she earned All-America honors in the discus.  In her final season of competition for the Ephs Avril won the shot put, discus, and hammer throw at the 2014 Little Three Championships, NESCAC Outdoor Championships and then followed up those efforts by winning all three of the events at the New England Division III Championships.  

"Amina is an outstanding individual and the ultimate team player,” noted Eph women’s head track & field coach Nate Hoey.  “From the beginning of the year she was all about doing the best she could to help the entire team achieve its very best. Even early during the indoor season, when we were taking things slow to make sure she was fully recovered from a wrist injury she obtained in 2013… she was pushing to keep trying to do more events, all so she could help the team.”  

"The most impressive area was how consistent she was all season long," added Hoey. "Amina opened up well in December throwing the weight 57' 10" (17.63m). In January, she threw 59 feet, 4 inches (18.09m). In February she broke the big barrier going 60'8" (18.39m) and then at the NCAAs went huge throwing 65-feet-7 (20.01) to win the national championship.”  “Outdoors followed the same pattern of consistent, steady progress," continued Hoey.  "In March, Amina opened up her season with a hammer throw of 178-feet-3 (54.33m)  … April, she went 187-feet-11 (57.28m) and then at NCAAs in May she went 192 feet (58.52m). The entire team could not be more proud of Amina."  

In June, Williams College won its 17th Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup in the 19-year history of the award. The Directors’ Cup is a national competition and is emblematic of athletic supremacy in NCAA Division III. Williams scored 1,225.25 points to out score 322 Division III institutions.

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