Ellis and Murfin Named as USTFCCCA Scholar Athletes

Jul 28, 2016

QUICK LINKS:  USTFCCCA Division III All-Academic Team

NEW ORLEANS, La. — The University of Dubuque's Isaiah Ellis and Blaze Murfin were named as U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Scholar Athletes in Division III Track & Field for the 2015-16 season. Combining their accomplishments in the classroom and in competition during the recently completed academic year, these these men were among a group of 293 men who earned USTFCCCA All-Academic honors on Thursday.

To qualify for the USTFCCCA All-Academic Track & Field Team, the student athlete must have compiled a cumulative GPA of 3.3 and have met at least one of the following athletic standards:

  • Competed in an NCAA Indoor or Outdoor Championship
  • Finished the regular season ranked in the national top 35 in an individual event or ranked in the national top 25 (collective listing) in a relay event on the official NCAA POP list provided by TFRRS.org

Freshman Blaze Murfin won both the shot put and hammer throw and placed third in the discus to claim the Iowa Conference’s Most Valuable Field Performer en route to the University of Dubuque men’s track and field team placing fourth overall in 2016. UD totaled five champions and 11 All-IIAC performers. UD totaled five IIAC champions for the third time in the last four seasons and at least 11 All-IIAC performers for the fourth-straight time.

Murfin became the Spartans first-ever IIAC Most Valuable Field performer since the award began in 2010 and is the first IIAC MVP of any kind since Orlando Walton in 2007. The Dalls City, Ill. native was lights out in winning both the shot put (14.73m/48-4) and the hammer throw (49.88m/163-8) as the No. 1 seed. Including indoor, the freshman has been an All-IIAC performer in all five of his career IIAC events with three wins. He qualified for the 2016 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships and placed 18th in the discus.

Freshman Isaiah Ellis earned a thrilling comeback victory at the IIAC Championships in the 200m (21.66) and won by the slimmest of margins, 0.01 seconds. The Rock Island, Ill. native also anchored the second-place 4x100m relay team that included Tyler Blanchard, Clayton Gray, and Izaiah Lavatai (42.30) and placed fourth in the 200m (10.97).