First Blue Raider in track and field and cross country
AUSTIN, Texas—Autumn Gipson, a senior runner at Middle Tennessee State University and former all-star athlete at Oak Ridge High School, was selected to the 2014 Capital One Academic All-America Women’s Track and Field/Cross Country third team. The College Sport Information Directors of America announced the selection in late June.
Gipson, a key contributor for MTSU in cross country and track and field, is an exercise science major that has maintained a 4.0 grade point average, the university said in a story posted on its website. She was also selected to the Conference USA Women’s Track and Field All-Academic team on May 28 and the C-USA Women’s Cross Country All-Academic team in November 2013.
“Gipson is the perfect combination of putting academics and athletics together,” said Middle Tennessee head coach Dean Hayes. “She is a good student and has done good things athletically, while making the most of her opportunity at Middle Tennessee. What she has done in the classroom and on the track will help her find success in the future.”
The Knoxville native notched two top-10 finishes in cross country, placing as high as eighth on the two-mile course at the Front Runner Invitational, the MTSU story said. During the indoor season, she tallied three individual top-15 finishes and was a member of the distance medley relay, which placed in the top seven in the five meets they competed in. The relay team captured first at the Edward S. Temple Classic and seventh at the C-USA Indoor Championships.
In the outdoor session, Gipson added four individual top-10 finishes and was a member of the distance medley relay team that placed second at the Tennessee Relays with a season-best 12:19.24. At the C-USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, she finished 11th in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and ranks second in MTSU history in the event, which she set in 2013 (10:59.10), the story said.
Oak Ridge Wildcats Coach Allen Etheridge said he coached Gipson, a 2010 ORHS graduate, all four years in cross country and track. She was all-state in cross country three times and was a member of two state champion teams, Etheridge said. She was all-state in track on both 4×800 relay and individually in the 800-meter run.
In addition, she was a starter for three years on the Lady Wildcats basketball team and made it to the state tournament twice, Etheridge said.
“I had Autumn in class, and she was a terrific student—conscientious and thoughtful, full of serious questions,” Etheridge said. He said Gipson wanted to be good at everything she did.
“She had an all-around work ethic that really served her well,” Etheridge said.
He said Gipson starts her doctorate in physical therapy at UTC this fall.