NEW ORLEANS, La. --- The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga men’s track and field team posted the nation’s top GPA while the women ranked 10th overall according to the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). Sophomore Teghan Henderson (Pickering, Ontario) was named to the All-Academic Team.
The men, led by seniors Lucas Cotter (Collierville, Tenn.) and Mark Cole (McKenzie, Tenn.) with 4.0 GPA’s, recorded the nation’s highest team GPA with a 3.6, well ahead of Long Beach State at 3.43 and a pair of teams at 3.38 in Seattle and Harvard. Cotter was named a USTFCCCA All-Academic in the fall and a Capital One Academic All-American this season to close out a stellar career. Both Cotter and Cole earned the Dayle May Award for the senior student-athlete at UTC with the top GPA.
The Southern Conference was represented by five teams. Outgoing member Davidson was tied with UNCG for 23rd with a 3.26 GPA while Furman ranked 38th with a 3.19 grade point average. Wofford rounded out the SoCon with a 3.05 team GPA ranking 91st overall while returning SoCon member ETSU ranked 52nd with a 3.14 GPA.
The Big East saw eight of its member institutions earn All-Academic Team honors, ahead of four other conferences with six each.
On the women’s side, Henderson, a USTFCCCA cross country All-American, was named to the women’s All-Academic Team with a 3.9 GPA. She qualified for the NCAA East Region Outdoor Track and Field Championships in both the 5000 meter and 10K. She set the school record in the 5000m at the Stanford Invitational and placed 19th at the region meet.
The women recorded a 3.54 team GPA and tied with Butler for 10th overall. San Francisco topped the list of women’s team with the highest GPA in the nation at 3.63, just ahead of a pair of teams at 3.61 in Lipscomb and New Mexico and another at 3.60 in Bradley.
The Mocs led six Southern Conference teams with the top GPA followed by Furman who ranked 54th with a 3.37 GPA. Exiting member Elon was 62nd with a 3.34 while Wofford ranked 77th overall with a 3.32 team GPA. Samford and UNCG tied at 121st with a 3.24. Departing member Davidson rounded out the SoCon list with a 3.21 GPA ranking 141st. League newcomers ETSU and Mercer each posted a team GPA of 3.32, tying Wofford at 77th.
Both the Atlantic 10 and the Big East were represented by 12 women’s teams each to lead all conferences, followed by four other leagues with 10 apiece.
The men, improving from a 3.505, moved up two spots from third last spring while the women climbed up 21 spots from 31st improving its GPA from 3.41. This marks the fourth time a UTC has posted the nation’s top GPA. The men’s cross country team was first this past fall with a 3.71 mark and in 2011 with a 3.81 team GPA while the women’s track team ranked first with a 3.55 in 2009.