MACON, Ga. – Junior Gilbert Kemboi (Eldoret, Kenya) and senior Jemeli Sang (Eldoret, Kenya) of the USC Upstate men's and women's cross country teams were named to the Academic All-Atlantic Sun Conference Cross Country Teams with Kemboi earning Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors as announced by the conference office today.
Kemboi was a unanimous pick for the All-Academic team, posting a 3.41 GPA with a major in sociology. The junior was named the A-Sun Runner of the Year after winning his second-straight conference championship Oct. 29. Kemboi crossed the finish line with a time 24:27.01, leading the Spartan men to their first Atlantic Sun team title.
"Gilbert is an excellent student in the classroom," said Upstate cross country associate head coach Carson Blackwelder. "It is rare that you get a great athlete and an excellent student in one person."
Sang was an Academic All-Conference selection for the women's cross country team. The senior boasts a 3.45 GPA, majoring in chemistry. Sang led the Spartan women to a fourth-place finish at the A-Sun Championships, picking up her first individual conference championship crown with a time of 17.20.90 in the women's 5K. She was an All-A-Sun First Team member and the A-Sun Women's Runner of the Year.
"Jemeli works just as hard in the classroom as she does at practice," Blackwelder said. "It is great that they have received this award."
The A-sun introduced the new sport-by-sport Academic All-Conference teams this fall to recognize student-athletes who embody the conference's mission of Building Winners for Life. All the members of the team boast a 3.30 cumulative grade point average (GPA) or better and participated in at least half of their team's matches.