Duo Earn Place on National BallotWILLIAMSBURG, VA - William and Mary men's track and field's Pat Comstock (Portsmouth, VA) and Keith Bechtol (Alexandria, VA) have been named to the ESPN The Magazine / CoSIDA University Division Academic All-District III Track and Field/Cross Country first-team, the College Sports Information Directors of America announced today. The duo, part of 10 athletes named to the first team, will now advance to the national ballot for a chance to be selected as Academic All-Americans. District III includes Division I colleges from Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.
Comstock, a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, graduated from the College this May with a degree in Religion and minor in Philosophy. He blazed to a meet record 30:44.02 to win the CAA 10,000m Championship then clocked a personal best 30:02.12 to claim second place and All-East honors in the IC4A 10,000m. The 2004 CAA Scholar-Athlete of the Year in cross country, Comstock earned his second-career all-conference honors on the grass in 2004 and competed on the Tribe's NCAA Championship and NCAA Southeast Regional squads. A Dean's List selection every semester for his W&M career, Comstock picked up two 5,000m wins during the season, coming at the Mason Open and Fred Hardy Invitational.
Bechtol, a Physics major, was selected as a Goldwater Scholar earlier this season and raced to an NCAA Provisional qualification in the 10,000m with a personal-record 29:25.02. Also an IC4A qualifier in the 10,000m and indoor and outdoor 5,000m, Bechtol claimed All-CAA honors in the 5,000m and just missed All-East accolades in the 10,000m by one position. A two-time CAA Runner of the Week in cross country. Bechtol ran as the Tribe's No. 1 at the NCAA Pre-Nationals (in 26th) and also made the team's NCAA Championship and NCAA Southeast Regional squads, but was limited by illness. The 2004 CAA Rookie of the Year in track and field, Bechtol made a powerful debut for the Green and Gold, winning the CAA 5,000m and IC4A 10,000m titles in addition to qualifying to the World Junior Championships in the 10,000m. Bechtol went on to finish as the highest American in the 10,000m at Junior Worlds and ended the season as the fastest American junior in the event, breaking a 31-year old Tribe freshman record with a 29:58.13. Runner-up in the USATF Junior Nationals 10,000m in 2004, Bechtol has been selected to the Dean's List every semester in his W&M career and previously received the DeWilde Fellowship Research Grant.