Women’s Cross Country Snags Second-straight USTFCCCA Team Academic Award

women's cross country team sits on a wall for the team photo

BENNINGTON, Vt. – The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association announced on Thursday the recipients of its 2016 NCAA Division III Cross Country Team Academic Award with the Southern Vermont College women's cross country crew taking hold of the honor for the second-straight year.

Only those cross country squads that competed in and compiled a team score at an NCAA DIII Regional meet are eligible for the accolade, and they must post a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.1 on a 4.0 scale following the fall semester in order to receive it.

The SVC women's program tallied a 3.31 GPA after turning in just the team's second NCAA Regional score back in November. The Mountaineers were one of 216 women's squads around the country to qualify for the academic laurel; additionally, 173 men's cross country teams were bestowed with the award.

"I'm so happy and proud of these young women for earning the Team Academic Award," commented SVC fourth-year head coach Kathleen Newton '04. "There is a direct correlation between hard work in the classroom and doing your best as an athlete. They did very well in their studies as well as on the cross country course. 'Student/athlete' is my approach; they are here first and foremost to receive an education. To strike a balance and excel at both shows determination, dedication and hard work. These women succeeded in all of those facets while having the team's best NECC finish yet."

The USTFCCCA is a non-profit professional organization representing cross country and track & field coaches of all levels. The organization represents over 6,000 coaching members encompassing NCAA track & field programs (DI, DII, and DIII) and includes members representing the NAIA and NJCAA, as well as a number of state high school coaches associations. The USTFCCCA serves as an advocate for cross country and track & field coaches, providing a leadership structure to assist the needs of a diverse membership, serving as a lobbyist for coaches' interests, and working as a liaison between the various stakeholders in the sports of cross country and track & field.