SIDNEY — California University of Pennsylvania senior and Sidney High School graduate Aaron Dinzeo became the first student-athlete in Cal U. school history to be selected the Capital One Division II Academic All-American of the Year, it was announced Wednesday.
Dinzeo was also voted a Capital One First-Team Academic All-American for the third straight year by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) on Wednesday afternoon.
Dinzeo is the first student-athlete in school history to receive first-team Academic All-America status in each of his three years eligible for the award. He is also one of 12 finalists for the overall Capital One Academic All-American of the Year in NCAA Division II.
In the fall, Dinzeo finished in second place at the NCAA National Cross Country Championships after claiming the individual title at both the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) and NCAA Atlantic Regional Championships. He earned five individual crowns and registered a pair of runner-up finishes while competing in seven races, and helped lead the men’s cross country program to its highest-ever finish at the NCAA Atlantic Regional Championships.
Dinzeo recorded the highest finish at the NCAA National Championships since 1983 when Brian Ferrari captured the national title. He posted a time of 30 minutes, 19.3 seconds to finish second overall in a field of nearly 250 runners and held the lead at the four-mile mark in the 10-kilometer race.
Originally from Monroeville, Pa., Dinzeo concluded his career as one of the most decorated student-athletes in school history despite missing the indoor and outdoor track and field seasons this year due to injuries. He finished his career as a seven-time NCAA All-American and three-time PSAC Champion. He was named the PSAC Athlete of the Year in outdoor track and field last season after becoming the school’s first distance runner to win league titles in both the 5,000- and 10,000-meter run.
Dinzeo held a 3.89 cumulative grade-point average (GPA) while earning a degree in anthropology with concentrations in archaeology and forensics. In addition to being a three-time Capital One First-Team Academic All-American, he also was named to the PSAC Top 10 five times, which is the most of any student-athlete in school history.
To be eligible for Academic All-America consideration, a student-athlete must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.30 or higher on a scale of 4.00 and must have reached sophomore athletic and academic standing at their institution.