NEW ORLEANS -
The UC San Diego cross country program had a total of total of seven student-athletes named to the 2011 U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division II All-Academic Team that was released last week.
Alia Bales, Dani Brabender, Chia Chang and Michelle Le Roux were named to the women's team, while Matt Lenehan, Kellen Levy and John Svet represented UCSD on the men's side.
To qualify for the USTFCCCA All-Academic Team, the student-athlete must have compiled a cumulative grade point average of 3.25 or greater through the most-recent semester, completed at least 12 credit hours in the semester of cross country competition and placed in the top 50 percent at the most recent NCAA National Championships or in the top 30 percent at the NCAA Regional Championships.
The complete women's team featured 354 athletes from a total of 117 institutions, while the men's squad was comprised of 208 athletes representing 101 institutions.
"We are very pleased with the academic and athletic balance these seven student-athletes have shown throughout their careers here at UCSD," head coach Nate Garcia said. "We are proud of the way that they embody the ideals of the Triton student-athlete."
With seven individuals earning the nod, UCSD placed it highest number of student-athletes on the all-academic teams since the 2005 season.
In addition to the individual accolades, UCSD's men's and women's programs were both selected as Division II All-Academic Cross Country Teams for their collective performance in the classroom. The Triton women had a cumulative team GPA of 3.36, while the men posted a 3.15.
To earn USTFCCCA All-Academic Team status, the team must have a cumulative team GPA of 3.00 or higher and have compiled a score (finished at least five runners) at their respective NCAA regional championship. UCSD was one of 124 teams to receive the honor on the women's side, while the Triton men were one of 80 men's teams to be recognized.
The Triton women finished eighth at the NCAA West Regional Championships in Spokane in November, with Chang leading the way with an impressive eighth place finish individually. She posted a 6k time of 21:46 and took home All-West Region accolades for her performance. Le Roux, Brabender and Bales were among UCSD's scorers as well, finishing 29th, 44th and 72nd, respectively.
UCSD placed ninth at the NCAA West Regional on the men's side, led by Lenehan's 39th place showing. He finished with a time of 32:27 on the 10k Plantes Ferry Regional Park course. Levy came in 41st place and Svet finished 53rd.
Information in this release courtesy of the USTFCCCA.