Mattox is Selected for NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship

SALEM, ORE. -- Former Willamette University cross country, track and field and women's soccer athlete Kimber Mattox '11 (Bend, OR/Bend HS) has been selected to receive an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. The award provides $7,500 toward graduate school tuition.

Mattox and Stephanie Skelly (see similar press release) are the first Willamette soccer players to be chosen for NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships. Mattox also is the seventh athlete from the Willamette cross country and track and field programs to receive an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship since 2004-05.

Each academic year, a total of 174 student-athletes from all three divisions are granted NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships. The overall number includes 29 male athletes and 29 female athletes from each sport season.

This prestigious scholarship adds to the impressive list of accomplishments for Mattox as a college student and an intercollegiate athlete.

Mattox is an Exercise Science graduate who achieved a 3.828 cumulative GPA at Willamette. She graduated in spring 2011 and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. She completed junior eligibility during the 2011 track and field season after participating as a sophomore in cross country in the fall of 2010. She played two seasons of soccer as a midfielder for the Bearcats in 2008 and 2009.

“Receiving the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship is an honor that makes me reflect on what wonderful opportunities I have had in my athletic and academic experiences. This scholarship is a strong demonstration of the NCAA's incredible support of student-athletes. But it's also a reflection of the amazing coaches, professors, mentors, teammates, and peers who make the extra effort to promote the success of students. I am thankful for the opportunities that I had as a student at Willamette and for the people who continue to cultivate my experience as a student and an athlete.”

Mattox is now competing in cross country and track and field as a graduate student at the University of Oregon. She is working on a master’s in Human Physiology and plans to graduate in 2013.

"Although she is now completing her graduate studies at Oregon," Rigsby noted, "Kimber Mattox will long be remembered as one of the great competitors in Willamette's rich running history. Her magnificent senior campaign included multiple school records, four Northwest Conference championships in track and cross country, and All America honors in both sports.

“Beyond her numerous athletic accomplishments, Kimber has performed extensive collaborative research with faculty and researchers at Willamette University, Oregon Health Sciences University and the Oregon Research Institute. A talented student and athlete, Kimber is an outstanding recipient for this prestigious national honor."

As a soccer midfielder, Mattox was named Honorable Mention All-NWC in 2009. During her two seasons, she earned four goals and two assists for 10 points and also contributed to Willamette’s defensive efforts.

"I was always impressed with her ability to achieve at the highest mark both on the soccer field and in the classroom," Arthur commented. "Kimber was a soft spoken soccer player who led her team by example with a relentless work ethic.”

Mattox earned First Team Capital One Academic All-District honors in the combined category of cross country and track and field in 2009-10 and 2010-11. She qualified for All-Academic recognition from the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) during the 2009 and 2010 cross country seasons and the 2009, 2010 and 2111 seasons in track and field.

"Kimber took the term student-athlete to the highest level on both fronts while competing for the Willamette cross country and track and field programs," Head Coach Matt McGuirk said. "We are extremely pleased to see the NCAA recognize her extraordinary accomplishments by awarding her the prestigious Postgraduate Scholarship.”

During her last year at Willamette in 2010-11, she earned All-America honors at the NCAA Championships in cross country (35th place) and in track and field (2nd place in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. In 2009, she achieved All-America status in track and field by finishing sixth in the steeplechase.

Mattox's qualifying time for the 2011 NCAA Championships in the steeplechase, set a Willamette record at 10:23.34 and was the seventh fastest time ever recorded by an NCAA Division III athlete. She also set a WU record with her top time in the 1,500 at 4:28.11.

While at Willamette, she placed in the top 10 in the steeplechase three times at the NCAA Championships (6th in 2009, 9th in 2010, 2nd in 2011) and was in the top 12 twice in the 5,000-meter run (12th in 2009, 9th in 2011). She was selected as the West Region Women's Track Athlete of the Year in 2009 and 2011.

During the 2010 cross country season, won the Northwest Conference women's individual cross country title and placed seventh at the NCAA West Regional. She received All-West Region and First Team All-NWC recognition in cross country in 2009 and 2010.

At the 2011 NWC Track and Field Championships, Mattox won the 1,500-meter run, the 5,000-meter run and the 3,000-meter steeplechase. She was chosen as the NWC Women's Track Athlete of the Meet in 2009 and 2011.

Kimber Mattox earned All-America honors in cross country and track and field.

Kimber Mattox earned All-America honors in cross country and track and field.