CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. --- The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga men's cross country team posted the nation's second-highest GPA and was named a Division I All-Academic Team by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches of America (USTFCCCA). The Lady Mocs were ranked 23rd among all DI teams, also earning all-academic status.
The Mocs posted a cumulative team GPA through the fall 2012 semester of 3.64, one-hundredth of a point behind Memphis (3.65). 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 while seven teams from the Southern Conference were named to the list.
Sophomore Patrick O'Brien (Chattanooga, Tenn.) and freshman Austin Ethridge (Signal Mountain, Tenn.) both lead the Mocs academically with a 4.0 GPA. Senior Mark Cole (McKenzie, Tenn.), with a 3.848 GPA, received the Dayle May Award given annually to the senior student-athlete with the highest grade point average. Eleven members of the team have cumulative GPA's of over 3.0 and three were named to the league's All-Academic Team in the fall.
Senior Nathan Wanuch (Mississauga, Ontario), a SoCon Fall All-Academic Team member, led he Mocs to a second place finish at the Southern Conference Championships last fall and earned all-region status with a 20th place finish.
Yale posted a 3.56 GPA for third followed by Auburn (3.55) in fourth, South Dakota (3.54) in fifth, Bowling Green (3.53) sixth overall. Rounding out the top 10 is Tulsa (7th - 3.53), Robert Morris (8th - 3.51), Mississippi State (9th - 3.51) and Harvard in 10th with a 3.49 GPA.
Other Southern Conference teams earning All-Academic status are Davidson (3.34), Western Carolina (3.28), UNCG (3.27), Furman (3.21), Appalachian State (3.17) and Elon (3.11).
The Lady Mocs posted a cumulative team GPA of 3.589 placing 23rd among all women's Division I teams by the USTFCCCA. A total of 200 institutions represent 30 conferences that compose the group. Among conferences, the Big East had the most squads make the list with 12. The Big Ten and Conference USA followed with 11. The Southern Conference had seven teams make the list.
All nine members of the women's cross country team posted a GPA of 3.0 or better. Sophomore Rachel Greenwall (Bogart, Ga.) along with freshman Helenka Kis (Columbia, Tenn.) have perfect 4.0 cumulative scores. Greenwall's twin sister Rebecca posted a 3.923 and senior Morgan Buchanan (Johnson City, Tenn.), the female winner of the Dayle May Award, recorded a 3.974 cumulative GPA.
Two members of the women's cross country team completed their degrees in three-and-a-half years and graduated in December. Mary Cumbee (Brentwood, Tenn.) graduated Cum Laude in Early Childhood and Middle Grades Education while Kathryn Stuart (Brentwood, Tenn.) was Magna Cum Laude in English & American Language & Literature.
Southern Miss reported the highest cumulative team GPA in the country through the fall 2012 semester at 3.79. South Carolina followed at 3.743. Idaho State was third with a 3.74 GPA followed by Southern Utah (3.725) in fourth and Southeast Missouri State (3.72) in fifth.
Rounding out the women's top 10 list are South Dakota in sixth (3.71), followed by Weber State (7th - 3.7), and UNCG of the Southern Conference with a league-best 3.69 GPA was eighth. In ninth was Eastern Michigan (3.662) with Oregon 10th with a 3.66 cumulative GPA.
Other Southern Conference teams on the list were Western Carolina (3.452), Elon (3.44), Furman (3.382), Appalachian State (3.375) and Wofford (3.27).
The 2011 men's track and field team was ranked fifth in the country while the women's track and field team earned top honors in 2009.
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.