CULLOWHEE, N.C. – Sixty-two Western Carolina student-athletes were recognized on Monday by earning spots on the Spring 2018 Academic All-Southern Conference Team as released by the conference office.
The Catamounts had the second-most among the league’s 10 full members with Mercer topping out with 71 and The Citadel in third with 57.
Combined there were 570 selections by 485 different student-athletes (84 earned the honor for both indoor and outdoor track and field). The 569 is a record for the spring team, but for perspective, prior to 2015-16, there was a standalone winter team as the winter and spring were combined beginning the 2015-16 season. In addition, the SoCon added women’s lacrosse (six schools) this year. The previous record was 479 selections in spring 2017.
There were 38 student-athletes that boast a cumulative 4.0 GPA (by 31 different student-athletes) on the Academic All-SoCon team which is also a SoCon record for any of the Academic All-SoCon teams (fall, spring and the now-defunct winter). The previous high was 22 in spring 2016.
WCU sophomore softball student-athlete Erica Hayes had a 4.0 to close out the spring semester.
Catamount men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track combined for 35 on the all-academic team, however, some names were on both indoor and outdoor as the seasons are treated like separate sports. Softball followed with nine on the
Eight of the SoCon’s 10 full-time institutions had at least 46 honorees this year, representing the sports of men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s indoor track and field, rifle, wrestling, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s lacrosse, men’s and women’s outdoor track and field, men’s and women’s tennis, baseball and softball.
The league’s 10 women’s outdoor track and field programs led the way with 72 academic all-conference selections, while the nine women’s indoor track and field programs produced 53 and the nine baseball programs had 51.
To be eligible for the academic all-conference team, student-athletes must carry at least a 3.3 cumulative grade-point average at the conclusion of the spring semester and were required to compete in at least one-half of their teams’ competitions during the recently concluded campaign. In addition, the student-athletes must have successfully completed at least three semesters at their institutions, making true freshmen and first-year transfers ineligible for inclusion.