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Western Carolina Tops SoCon With 62 on Spring Academic All-Conference Team

June 27, 2016

2015-16 SoCon Spring All-Academic Team

SPARTANBURG, S.C. -- Western Carolina paced the 2015-16 Academic All-Southern Conference Team placing a league-leading 62 student-athletes on the list the league office announced Monday. Samford was right behind with 57 and Chattanooga was third with 51.

In total, 390 student-athletes accounted for 474 spots on the Spring 2016 Academic All-Conference Team now that men's and women's basketball and indoor track have been folded into the spring all-conference list. Each of the SoCon's 10 full-time institutions had at least 21 honorees, representing the sports of men's and women's basketball, men's and women's indoor track and field, wrestling, men's and women's golf, men's lacrosse, men's and women's outdoor track and field, men's and women's tennis, baseball and softball. Associate members for men's lacrosse and wrestling were also eligible for the award, accounting for 41 of the selections.

Three Western Carolina indoor and outdoor track and field female student-athletes had a combined perfect 4.0 GPA in Korie Bennett, Laney Browder and Kendra Henry.

Bennett and softball's Taylor Sigmon were also recently honored nationally for their academic prowess. Last week Bennett earned Third Team Academic All-America, presented by CoSIDA, honors. In May, Sigmon became the first Catamount softball player to earn Second Team Academic All-America, presented by CoSIDA, accolades.

Western Carolina's women's indoor and outdoor track and field team made up 26 of the 62 Catamount student-athletes honored.

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 -- a change from the previous criteria that was based on the GPA entering the semester of competition -- and were required to compete in at least one-half of their teams' competitions. 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.

With the GPA component now based off of the student-athletes' averages at the end of the semester of competition, the Winter Academic All-SoCon team was eliminated, resulting in several track and field student-athletes appearing in the spring list twice, once each for the indoor and outdoor seasons.