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Columbia's Hale, Princeton's Higginson, Yale's Grace Earn Indoor All-American Honors

(l-r) Columbia's Shara Hale, Princeton's Ashley Higginson, Yale's Kate Grace
(l-r) Columbia's Shara Hale, Princeton's Ashley Higginson, Yale's Kate Grace

Complete 2011 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field USTFCCCA All-American list

Portions courtesy Columbia Sports Information/Media Relations, Princeton Athletic Communications, Yale Sports Publicity

NEW ORLEANS --Columbia's Sharay Hale, Princeton's Ashley Higginson and Yale's Kate Grace all earned U.S Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-American honors following their performances at the 2011 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championship in College Station, Texas.

Hale capped an incredible 2010-11 indoor track & field season with one of the top honors in the nation. She was named a first-team All-American selection by the USTFCCCA after finishing seventh in the 400m dash.

This is the second time in as many years that Hale has earned USTFCCCA All-America distinctions, but her first time earning the honors indoors. In 2010, Hale earned the honor as she was one of the top eight finishers in the 400m dash who hold US citizenship. Hale finished the season with the sixth fastest 400m time in the nation, advancing to the semifinals of the NCAA National Championships.
Hale competed in her first-ever national finals in the 400m dash, finishing seventh overall, her performance hindered by a fall on the track. Hale ran in the first heat of the finals, and was held up when Clemson’s Marlena Welsh got tripped up by Arkansas’ Shelise Williams. Welsh fell into Hale’s lane, and the junior was forced to hurdle over Welsh to finish the race. Despite the obstacle, Hale ran 54.22, a time good for seventh place in the nation.

Higginson finished in fifth place in the women's 3,000-meter run at the 2011 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships. With her fifth-place finish of 9:19.04, Higgison has earned All-America honors. This is the second time she has earned All-America honors and first time earning them in the indoor track season. Higginson was third in the steeplechase in the outdoor championship last spring.

Higginson was the steady No. 2 runner through most of the race. With three laps to go she slipped into third place and on the final lap sat in fourth place back from the lead pack of Jordan Hasay (Oregon), Sheila Reid (Villanova) and Lucy Van Dalen (Stony Brook). Jackie Areson (Tennessee) was able to kick past Higginson in the final push to edge into fourth place.

Higginson becomes Princeton's first indoor All-America since 2007 and is the second Tiger to earn the status in the event. She joins two-time All-America Cack Ferrell who was third in 2005 and 11th in 2006 in the event.

Grace's time of 4:43.07 was good for seventh in her heat and 13th overall at the 2011 Championship, resulting in second team All-American honors for the senior. It is also the second-fastest time that a Bulldog has ever run, second only to her own mark earlier this season of 4:39.52.