March 7, 2013
NEW ORLEANS, La. - The USTFCCCA announced the men's and women's teams who earned 2011 Division I All-Academic Cross Country status today revealing both men's and women's Western Carolina cross country teams earning this elite academic status.
A total of 145 institutions represent 30 conferences that compose the group. The Big East Conference had the most squads make the list with nine. The Big Ten followed with eight. The Southern conference put six schools on the list.
Memphis reported the highest cumulative team GPA in the country through the fall 2012 semester at 3.65. Chattanooga followed at 3.64.
Seven of the top ten finishing teams at the 2012 NCAA Cross Country Championships earned All-Academic status. Of the 31 teams that participated in the national meet, 23 of those earned All-Academic status.
To qualify as a USTFCCCA All-Academic Cross Country Team, the team must have had a cumulative team GPA of 3.00 or better and have started at least five runners at their respective NCAA regional championship.
"One of our goals every season is to be an All-Academic Team," said head coach Danny Williamson. "Our kids work very hard in the classroom as well as running mile after mile on a daily basis. This is a great reward for what they do outside of athletics."
Western Carolina's women posted a 3.45 GPA while the men's team notched a 3.28 GPA. As well as reaching All-Academic status, four Catamounts from the indoor track & field team were nominated for 2013 USTFCCCA Southeast Region season-ending awards.
Alisha Bradshaw - who swept the throwing events at the 2013 SoCon Indoor Championships - was nominated for Women's Indoor Field Athlete of the Year while teammate Brandon Hairston was nominated for Men's Indoor Track Athlete of the Year. Hairston was named the SoCon Indoor Championships' Most Outstanding Athlete and Most Outstanding Track Performer. Both athletes are the reigning SoCon Athlete of the Month.
Assistant coaches Matt Harlfinger and Cale McDaniel also received nominations for Women's and Men's Indoor Assistant Coach of the Year honors.
Western Carolina begins its 2013 outdoor season next week in Athens, Ga., at the Georgia Relays.