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Lakeland graduate earns scholar-athlete honor

NCAA champion and former VHSL state champion Christopher Copeland added another high honor to a great collection of trophies he’s won this year by being named Division II Scholar Athlete of the Year by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association on Friday.

Copeland, a Lakeland grad, is a rising junior at St. Augustine’s College and a high jumper for the Falcons. The award is for all male field athletes during the indoor season. Copeland’s one of eight NCAA Div. II athletes to win the award for 2010.

Copeland won the NCAA Division II championship for the 2009-10 indoor season with a mark of 7-feet-0.5 at the championship.

Copeland finished runner-up, despite improving his best jump to 7-feet-2.25, at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in June. Copeland helped St. Augustine’s win the team national championship for the outdoor season.

Earlier this year, Copeland, a sports management major with a 3.65 GPA, was named third-team academic All-American by ESPN The Magazine.

He’s a repeat winner of annual All-Academic Team honors by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association and he’s the first student-athlete from St. Augustine’s to win the organization’s Scholar Athlete of the Year award.