Two Wingate University student-athletes have been named to the Google Cloud Academic All-District III track and field/cross-country teams. Bulldog senior sprinter Ruva Mzinde (Mutare, Zimbabwe) made the women’s team, while sophomore distance specialist Austin Hilburn (Denver, N.C.) earned a spot on the men’s team.
Mzinde and Hilburn earn Google Cloud Academic All-District laurels for the first time in their respective careers. With this honor, the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) recognize the nation’s top student-athletes for their combined performances on the playing field and in the classroom.
The Wingate duo and the other 21 first team Academic All-District III members (11 men, 12 women) advance to the Google Cloud Academic All-America ballots with the Google Cloud Academic All-America teams to be announced in June. South Atlantic Conference members Wingate, Carson-Newman, Lenoir-Rhyne and Queens had student-athletes on both teams.
Hilburn, a graduate of North Lincoln High School, has a 4.00 GPA with his mathematics major. This spring, he posted career-best times in three track events. His 2019 career-best T&F times: 3000-Steeplechase (10:42.08), 5000-Meters (16:53.88) and 10,000-Meters (36:41.72)
Hilburn ran a season-best 29:51.0 8K in the Royals XC Challenge on October 12, 2018. In 2017, he was a top seven WUXC finisher in both SAC and SER races as a freshman, and he ran the South Atlantic Conference championship 8K (27:16.3), 2017 NCAA SER 10K (35.39.0). Both 2017 times are career-best XC marks for Hilburn.
Wingate distance coach Ashley Glover said of Hilburn, “It is exciting for Austin to achieve this so early in his career. He has put in a lot of work to bring him to this point in the classroom. I’m proud of the bar he has set with his GPA and the leadership position that he has put himself in within our team, but I am all the more excited as he continues to explore all that his major has to offer through the next two years. This is a great achievement and just the start of what is ahead!”