USTFCCCA All-Academic awards were bestowed on Monday, July 22, on both the VUU Men’s and Women’s Track & Field teams, which honors NCAA and NAIA teams whose programs average over a 3.0 based on career GPA’s.
This is the first time since the award's inception in 1999 that the Panther men’s team has earned the accolade, which was proceeded by this year’s dual CIAA Highest GPA Award for both indoor and outdoor track and field. This year’s honor is the second time for the women, who were additionally tabbed last year in the 2017-2018 academic calendar when they had also earned the CIAA Highest GPA Award for Cross Country and Outdoor Track.
"We are deeply proud of our scholar-athletes to have earned this mark.," VUU Head Track & Field Coach Melissa Ferry said. "The All-Academic award is tangible recognition of the immense work-ethic our student-athletes apply to their academics and athletics, often quietly and without fanfare. It is incredibly difficult to be not just a student, but also a track athlete who is in-season three seasons a year. We are delighted to be represented by Panthers post-graduation in fields such as the military, law enforcement, education, marketing, and graduate school, who are now translating this commitment to their education into successful careers."
In total, 209 programs were honored by the USTFCCCA for their academic achievements.
Breaking it down even further, 130 of those teams were women’s compared to 79 men’s programs who earned the award. The women’s program from Truman State had the highest cumulative GPA out of any NCAA DII institution at 3.63. The men’s team with the highest cumulative GPA was Point Loma Nazarene University with a 3.53.
In pursuit of excellence on and off the track, the men’s program comprised almost entirely of underclassmen won 5 CIAA Championship titles, set 7 school records, and earned 13 All-Conference honors this year. The women set school records in the 100 hurdles, 3,000m (i), earned All-Conference honors in cross country, and had two student-athletes record perfect 4.0 GPA’s in the classroom.
The Panthers return to their studies on August 26th, and to competition with the opening of cross country season Labor Day weekend.
The USTFCCCA full press release can be found here.