DENTON (6/26/07) Add another feather in Heath Smith’s cap. The senior, who just competed at the NCAA National Track & Field Championships, was named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America First Team, as announced by the College Sports Information Directors of America.
Smith, a senior who just graduated with a 4.0 GPA in criminal justice, became the North Texas track program’s first Academic All-America First Team honoree. Smith was named to the Academic All-America Second Team as a junior.
He advanced to the NCAA national meet in the javelin this season, becoming the first North Texas javelin thrower to qualify for the national meet since 1970. Smith’s school-record shattering throw of 65.62 meters at the 2007 NCAA Midwest Regional meet was good enough for second place and automatically qualified him for the trip to Sacramento, Calif. The senior finished 22nd at nationals.
Smith closed out his Mean Green career as the back-to-back Sun Belt Conference javelin champion. He also holds the top five marks in school history in the "new" javelin category.
North Texas recently honored Smith as the first recipient of the Gayle and Virgil Strange Award, given to the senior with the highest overall grade point average among all teams.
To be nominated for the Academic All-America team, a student-athlete must be at least a sophomore starter or significant reserve on her team with a 3.20 cumulative grade point average. District VI represents student-athletes in the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.