Track and Field Teams Among the Nation's Academic Elite
NEW ORLEANS – The U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced the men’s and women’s 2009 Division I All-Academic Track and Field Teams today. The DePaul men’s track and field squad led the nation with the highest team grade-point average, while the women were also recognized as an All-Academic team.
While schools such as Brown, Yale, Butler, and Harvard made the top five, the Blue Demon men boasted the highest grades in the nation with a cumulative average of 3.419. BIG EAST Conference representatives included Louisville and Cincinnati, while the Ivy League led all conferences with six team selections.
“I’m incredibly proud of our men’s track and field student-athletes and Head Coach Pat Savage and his staff for bringing such honor and distinction to our Athletics program, DePaul University and our alumni and friends all over the country," commented athletics director Jean Lenti Ponsetto, “To be the top ranked program academically in any Division I sport competing at the highest level in the BIG EAST Conference speaks volumes about the work ethic, dedication and intellectual skill of our student-athletes. I’m especially grateful to our faculty and Athletic Academic Advising staff who work tirelessly in helping our student-athletes maximize their potential in the classroom.”
The DePaul women’s team earned a team average of 3.408, giving them the 19th highest GPA amongst Division 1 institutions. Topping the field was Tennessee-Chattanooga with a team GPA of 3.550, followed by Butler who recorded a cumulative average of 3.547. The BIG EAST led all leagues with ten teams selected as All-Academic Teams for 2009 – DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Rutgers, St. John’s, Cincinnati, Louisville, South Florida, Villanova, and West Virginia.
The selection of the All-Academic Indoor and Outdoor Scholar Teams of the Year award is based on a combination of academic and athletic achievements, with the top honor going to the team that had the combination of best overall finish at the respective Division I Indoor or Outdoor National Championships and cumulative GPA. Nebraska was selected as the men’s 2009 Indoor Track and Field Scholar Team of the Year, while South Carolina took home the outdoor honor. On the women’s side, Tennessee and Arizona State were selected as the Indoor Track and Field and Outdoor Track and Field Scholar Teams of the Year, respectively. To be nominated, a team must carry a minimum 3.000 cumulative grade-point average.
In addition to the team award, three student-athletes, including Melissa Fraser, Mary Cate Quiett, and Brad Millar, were selected as individuals to the USTFCCCA All- Academic team yesterday.
Five members of the team, Fraser, Alanna Kovacs, Quiett, Millar, and Joe Strawder, qualified for the 2009 NCAA Mideast Regional and collectively posted two top-10 finishes. Millar highlighted the event with his fourth place finish in the hammer throw to earn his first bid to the NCAA Championship. It marks the second time in as many years that the Blue Demons were represented at the national championship, as Fraser competed in the javelin throw last season.
The DePaul track and field teams return to the classroom on Sept. 9, while competition resumes in December.