Amherst Places Four on ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District Team

AMHERST, MA – ESPN the Magazine announced the 2008 Academic All-District honorees last week, with four Amherst College student-athletes earning a spot on a District 1 team for the college division. Neal Allar (Floyds Knobs, IN) and Mike Neff (New York, NY) represent the Amherst baseball team, while Jackie Tyler (Ridgewood, NJ) and Alex Chang-Graham (San Carlos, CA) represent the Amherst softball team.

The Academic All-District teams are comprised of student-athletes who excel in the classroom and also on the playing field, thus honoring a group of some of the most well-rounded students in the country.

In addition to leading her team in batting average during yet another impressive season, Tyler earned a spot on the All-District Second Team. As a sociology major and member of the class of 2010, Tyler has accumulated a 3.70 GPA to go along with her outstanding athletic achievements, which include two consecutive NESCAC All-Conference First Team selections.

Holding the third highest GPA (3.92) in the District 1 college division, Chang-Graham is a chemistry major and is also a member of the Amherst class of 2010. The combination of her academic success and her NESCAC-best 1.65 earned run average earned Chang-Graham a spot on the All-District Third Team. Tyler and Chang-Graham join Ariana Mullin of Trinity College as the only three NESCAC student-athletes selected to an ESPN the Magazine All-District Team.

On the men's side, Allar and Neff were also two of only three NESCAC student-athletes selected to an All-District Team, with each earning First Team honors. Allar, a senior, has been a consistent force for the Lord Jeff baseball team with a career batting average of .350 and several postseason honors to his name, while his 3.72 GPA as a double-major in English and French make him an easy choice for the All-District Team. Allar started in all 37 games this year as a co-captain, leading his team to an appearance in the NESCAC Championship finals.

The fifth highest GPA (3.96) in the District 1 college division belongs to Neff, who is a history major and member of the Amherst class of 2009. After playing in a combined 12 games during his first two seasons, Neff stepped into a leading role this year and played in 33 games, finishing with the team's fourth highest batting average (.345). Neff and Allar join Wesleyan's Graham Douds as the lone NESCAC student-athletes selected to an ESPN the Magazine All-District Team.

Neff, Allar, Tyler and Chang-Graham will now be considered for ESPN the Magazine All-America honors, which will be announced later this month. While Chang-Graham and Tyler have already been named to both NESCAC All-Conference and NFCA All-Region Teams for their athletic accomplishments this season, postseason baseball awards have yet to be announced. The NESCAC will announce its 2008 Baseball All-Conference selections Wednesday, May 14, with both Allar and Neff making strong cases for a spot on either the First or Second Team. 

***View a complete list of ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District Baseball and Softball teams.