USTFCCCA Ranks Mocs Third Academically; Women 31st

NEW ORLEANS --- The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga men’s track and field team ranked third in team grade-point-average among all NCAA Division I schools the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced today.  The Lady Mocs were ranked 31st.

“I work hard to find the athlete who wants to be a student-athlete,” UTC Head Coach Bill Gautier said. “They take as much or more pride in their academic accomplishments as they do in their athletic accomplishments.”

The Mocs posted a team GPA of 3.505, just off the pace set by top-ranked Arizona (3.511) and Santa Clara (3.506). A total of 111 men’s teams earned the USTFCCCA All-Academic distinction as a result of earning a cumulative team GPA of 3.00 or higher.

Junior Patrick O’Brien (Chattanooga, Tenn.) and freshman Austin Ethridge (Signal Mountain, Tenn.) each have a cumulative 4.0 GPA and led nine Mocs with a perfect grade in the spring. Sixteen members of the men’s track and field team earned a spot on the Dean’s List with 18 on the AD Honor Roll.

Nine Mocs were awarded the Southern Conference Commissioner’s Medal for posting a GPA over 3.5 while 17 were named to the SoCon Honor Roll. Four were named to the SoCon Winter All-Academic Team and three made the Spring team.

This is the third time in three years the Mocs have been ranked in the top 5 in the country.  The 2011 men’s cross country team was ranked first in the nation with a 3.81 GPA.

The Mocs were joined on the list by Davidson with a 3.28, UNCG at 3.16 and Wofford with a 3.07 GPA. The Atlantic 10 was the best-represented conference with eight men’s teams earning All-Academic Team nods. The Big East and Ivy League both added seven teams to the list.

The Lady Mocs tied for 31st in the nation with a team GPA of 3.41 out of 187 institutions with a cumulative team GPA of 3.00 or higher. Fellow Southern Conference member Wofford topped all teams with a cumulative mark of 3.61 followed by North Dakota at 3.599 while North Dakota State and Oregon tied at third with matching 3.58 GPAs.

Freshmen Helenka Kis (Columbia, Tenn.) and Taylor White (Chattanooga, Tenn.), along with transfer Rachel Greenwall (Bogart, Ga.), each have a cumulative GPA of 4.0 through the spring semester.  They were joined on the 4.0 list in the spring by Morgan Buchanan (Johnson City, Tenn.), who graduated Summa Cum Laude in May with a degree in Education. Buchanan was also selected to the Capital One Academic All-District First Team.

Eleven Lady Mocs earned a spot on UTC’s Dean’s List in the spring with 12 named to the AD Honor Roll. Four were named to the Southern Conference Winter All-Academic Team while six made the Spring team. Fourteen members of the women’s track and field team were named to the league’s Honor Roll while 12 received the SoCon Commissioner’s Medal.

Six Southern Conference schools were named USTFCCCA All-Academic Teams with Wofford posting the nation’s highest mark at 3.61 followed by the Lady Mocs (3.41). Elon was third at 3.38 followed by UNCG with a 3.22. Appalachian State was fifth with a team GPA of 3.09 followed by Western Carolina with a 3.06 GPA. The Atlantic 10 was the best-represented conference with 12 women’s teams earning All-Academic Team accolades. The Big East was right behind with 11 teams on the list.

The women have ranked among the top teams in the nation in each of the last eight years including a top-place ranking in 2009 with a 3.55 and third in 2007 with a 3.46 GPA.

“The student-athletes realize their future success will come through their education,” Gautier said. “they are smart enough to know athletics is a means to reach their goals.”

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