In its first season as an affiliate member of the Great West Conference in men's and women's outdoor track and women's tennis, CSU Bakersfield has had eight Roadrunner student-athletes named to the 2011-12 Winter/Spring Academic All-Conference team as announced by the conference on Wednesday.

Five members of the men's track and field team received the academic honors, as did two women's track and field members and one women's tennis player. Representing the men's track and field team are Collin Ellis (R-Jr., Bakersfield, Calif., Bakersfield HS), Karnell Grimes (R-Fr., Rosamond, Calif. Rosamonda HS), David Mitchell (R-Jr., Bakersfield, Calif., Stockdale HS), Justus Mora (So., Sparks, Nev., Spanish Springs HS) and Brandon Washington (R-Sr., Sanford, Fla., Seminole HS). Melisa Cruz (Jr., Bakersfield, Calif., West HS) and Princess Watts (Sr., Apple Valley, Calif., Granite Hills HS) earned spots from women's track and field, while Veronica Dimas (Sr., Mexico City, Mexico Tecnologico de Monterrey Campus Cuidad de Mexico) was the lone representative from the CSUB tennis team.

In all, 228 Great West Conference athletes were named to the team based on a minimum cumulative 3.2 grade point average. The student-athletes also must have participated in 50 percent of their respective team's contests. First-year students and JC transfers in the first year of residence are not eligible for the award.

"Collegiate athletes face a big challenge to find the balance between athletics and academics," said GWC Commissioner Ed Grom. "The Great West has a high percentage of student-athletes who have found that balance, and as our competitiveness against Division I institutions has increased, so has the commitment to academics. I congratulate all our academic all-conference honorees as they each have displayed the focus and commitment it takes to be successful."

Ellis, a thrower, is majoring in Physical Education and Kinesiology and recorded a 3.47 GPA. Grimes, a one-time CSUB baseball player who converted to javelin this season, has a major in biochemistry and posted a 3.36 GPA. Mitchell, a sprinter, is a mathematics major who registered a 3.85 GPA. Mora, another sprinter, is majoring in psychology and recorded a 3.73 GPA. Washington, a hurdler and sprinter, majored in political science and earned a 3.27 GPA.

Cruz, a distance runner who competes for CSUB's cross country and track squads, is a liberal studies major and recorded a 3.23 GPA. Watts, a sprinter, earned a 3.24 GPA and is majoring in public policy and administration.

Dimas, who was the No. 1 singles player for the tennis squad this year, majored in business administration and posted a GPA of 3.34. 

~www.GoRunners.com~