Kilmartin’s gusher: Success in the classroom and out
Donovan Kilmartin's three-time All-America status in the decathlon at Eagle High School in Eagle, Idaho, was just a part of the success he enjoyed before beginning his matriculation at The University of Texas.
The 6-foot-2 native to Silver City, N.M., also was the valedictorian of the senior class and owned a perfect 4.0 GPA when he completed his work at Eagle High.
In three years at Texas, Kilmartin is a two-time NCAA Champion in the heptathlon. He is a five-time All-America and has earned All-Big 12 honors eight times. Kilmartin also has earned highest honors in the classroom.
No, just a testament to the work ethic and resolve of Kilmartin, who is the Male Student-Athlete of the Month.
"It is a nice honor," said Kilmartin, who is a three-time recipient of the Athletics Director Award (2004-06). "Recognizing the academics of the student-athletes is important, so it is nice to receive this award."
Already this year, Kilmartin was the Big 12 Indoor Athlete of the Week in January and was selected as the NCAA Division I Men's Co-Indoor Field Athlete of the Year.
Still, Kilmartin talks about his schoolwork and his desire to do well as he completes his senior year as a petroleum engineering major.
"Competing in track and field and taking classes for my major has required an efficient use of my time," Kilmartin explained. "The lab work for class and the work on the track gets me started early each morning."
And it keeps him occupied into the evening.
Kilmartin laughs and says, "There is no question that time management is a big issue for me, but that is where the academic support staff at Texas comes in. From my freshmen year, they have helped me learn how to prioritize my time and that has made a difference.
"You can't be a casual student-athlete at The University of Texas."
Kilmartin said the academic support staff also assisted him in the culture change as he went from high school to UT.
"Getting accustomed to everything here compared to Eagle was made easier by the academic support staff, as well as coach Bubba Thornton and the assistants," Kilmartin said.
Kilmartin was easy to assist because it has been his goal since middle school to do well in track and field and do well in the classroom.
"Not doing well in class, as well as in track, was not an option," he said. "My goal was to produce great results in track and in the classroom."
His determination is aided by the cynics, who suggest in college athletics that a true student-athlete is largely a myth.
"I enjoy the bio-med and applied science classes," Kilmartin said. "And I am going to get my master's degree here, so I'll be around for another few years."
And the UT community will benefit from that.