Haas gets prestigious academic award
Shippensburg University senior Tommy Haas (Ambler, Pa./Hatboro-Horsham) received a prestigious academic award Wednesday afternoon when he was named to the 2020 Academic All-America ® Division II Men’s Track & Field/Cross Country Third Team. The scholastic award is given by the College Sports Information Directors Association of America (CoSIDA).
Haas, a senior biology major concentrating in pre-med, graduated in May with a 3.65 cumulative GPA.
He maintained a 3.61 cumulative GPA entering his final semester this spring.
His plans include medical school with the hopes of conducting cancer research and clinical research.
Haas is a javelin thrower on the Raiders men’s outdoor track & field team. His senior season was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. He finished three years of competition with the Raiders as a 2019 NCAA Outdoor Championships qualifier in the javelin, finishing in 14th place.
Haas was a two-time U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-Region performer in the javelin (206-10 in 2019; 200-04 in 2018) and a two-time Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Championships place-winner in the javelin (fifth in 2019, fourth in 2018).
He is the second and final Raider to receive the distinguished Academic All-America ® classification for the 2019-20 academic year. Gracee Tothero, senior women’s swimmer, was named to the Division II Women’s At-Large Third Team last week.
Balancing academics, athletics
Outside the field of competition, Haas served as the vice president of SU’s chapter of the Tri-Beta Biology Honor Society. He also maintained an undergraduate research fellowship in the field of infectious disease and microbiology.
Haas attended Penn State’s Primary Care Scholars Program last year, simultaneously balancing that prestigious placement with preparation for the NCAA Championships. He also completed a research fellowship with the Department of Defense in May 2018.
“Shippensburg University correctly values the ideal of student first and athlete second. But they are not mutually exclusive. Tommy demonstrated this and was able to balance his academic and athletic endeavors brilliantly,” said Kurt Dunkel, assistant coach. “In that regard he has been one of the most outstanding student-athletes I have coached during my 20 years here at Ship. Although our Spring Track and Field athletes lost their outdoor seasons, it did not dissuade or derail Tommy’s efforts. He finished strong and was a leader through the entire experience. He has a very bright future, and although we will miss Tommy, his legacy of excellence will live on.”
Haas is one of five PSAC athletes selected to this year’s Academic All-America® Men’s Track & Field/Cross Country Team; he joins Gannon’s Joseph Westrick (First Team), Slippery Rock’s Jason Goodman (Second Team) and Ryan McQuown (Second Team), and Kutztown’s Luke Hoffman (Second Team).
The NCAA Division II national governance structure supports the Division II Academic All-America® program financially. It assists CoSIDA with handling the awards fulfillment aspects for the 2019-20 Division II Academic All-America® teams program. Despite the cancellation of spring competition during COVID-19, CoSIDA continued its sponsorship of the Academic All-America awards program. Student-athlete selections were based on student’s career statistics.
For more information about CoSIDA’s Academic All-District® and Academic All-America® Teams program, visit AcademicAllAmerica.com.