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Muhlenberg College

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

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torphy named academic all-america
of the year; baer also recognized

Bobby Torphy crossed the finish line at Muhlenberg in a dead heat, but when it comes to the Academic All-America® Team, he is alone in first place.

Torphy, the co-valedictorian of the Class of 2011, was chosen as the Capital One Academic All-America® of the Year on the College Division Track & Field/Cross Country Team. He is the first student-athlete in Muhlenberg history to receive the honor.

College Division consists of all non-Division I institutions, so Torphy was named the top scholar-athlete among all Division II, Division III and NAIA track and field and cross country programs in the country.

Torphy made the Academic All-America® first team for Bobby Torphy the second year in a row, and he was joined by rising senior Michael Baer, who was named to the Academic All-America® second team.

The honors for Torphy and Baer cap an extraordinary year of academic accomplishment for Mule athletes. Muhlenberg had a school-record five Academic All-Americans® in 2010-11; the previous high of four came in the 1975-76 school year. Of the five, three (Baer, basketball player Spencer Liddic and field hockey player Brittany DeAngelis) were honored as juniors. Torphy was joined in the Class of 2011 by softball player Ashley Brewer.

Torphy is the first Muhlenberg athlete to earn first-team Academic All-America® honors more than once since softball/field hockey player GloriaAnn Hardy was recognized three times in 1984 and 1985. Torphy was a third-team Academic All-American as a sophomore; he, Hardy, Greg Campisi (basketball, 1977-79) and Ed Salo (football, 1970-72) are the only three-time Academic All-Americans® in College history.

Furthermore, the 2011 men’s track and field team Michael Baer is the seventh in Muhlenberg history to produce two Academic All-Americans®. The others were football in 1975, 1989, 1990 and 2008 and men’s basketball in 1977 and 1978.

Torphy (left) graduated summa cum laude with a major in biochemistry and is headed to medical school at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

An NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship recipient, Torphy was the first two-time winner of the prestigious NCAA Elite 88 Award. He was a four-time NCAA Championships qualifier, twice each in cross country and indoor track.

Torphy earned All-America honors on the distance medley relay team that placed fourth at the 2009 NCAA indoor meet and holds school records indoors in the 800, mile, 4x800 and DMR. He earned all-region honors twice in cross country and finished his career with four gold medals, four silvers and seven bronzes at CC track meets.

A biochemistry major and history minor, Baer (right) is the Mules’ top multi athlete. He placed fourth in the decathlon at the 2011 Centennial Conference Outdoor Championships, a one-place improvement from last year. Baer won a gold medal with the 4x400-meter relay team at the CC indoor meet and also placed fourth in the high jump, fifth in the 55-meter hurdles (indoors) and eighth in the 110-meter hurdles (outdoors).

On Muhlenberg’s all-time performance lists, Baer ranks fourth in the decathlon and eighth in the 55 hurdles. A Phi Beta Kappa member, he has done independent study and research in molecular genetics the last three semesters and had an internship in autopsy pathology last summer.

To be eligible for Academic All-America® consideration, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.30 on a scale of 4.00 and have reached sophomore athletic and academic standings at his current institution. Since the program's inception in 1952, CoSIDA has bestowed Academic All-America® honors on more than 14,000 student-athletes in Divisions I, II, III and NAIA, covering all NCAA championship sports.

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