NEW ORLEANS. – The USC Upstate women's cross country team earned 2011 Division I All-Academic Cross Country status as announced by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) today.
The Spartan women boast a cumulative team GPA of 3.30 and posted strong finishes at both the 2011 Atlantic Sun Conference Championship and the 2011 Southeast Regional meet. This marks the third academic honor for the women's program this year as senior Jemeli Sang (Eldoret, Kenya) has collected two individual academic accolades. Last week, she was named a 2011 Division I All-Academic Cross Country honoree by the USTFCCCA. Sang was named to the Academic All-Atlantic Sun Conference Cross Country Team during the fall semester.
"I'm very proud of our women's team; academically they have done a great job," said associate head coach Carson Blackwelder.
Upstate came in fourth-place at the A-Sun Championship as the Spartans took home the top-three individual finishes. The team recorded its best score in program history with 91 points as senior Sang paced the squad, claiming the individual championship crown with a time of 17:20.90 in the women's 5K.
In Spartans' first trip to the regional championship, the team earned a 17th-place finish in a difficult region. Upstate tallied a strong 468 points in the women's 6K as the team was led by the senior duo of Joan Tangwar (Eldoret, Kenya) and Sang, coming in 15th and 16th, respectively. The pair earned Southeast All-Region honors.
To qualify as a USTFCCCA All-Academic Cross Country Team, the team must have a cumulative team GPA of 3.00 or better and have started at least five runners at their respective NCAA regional championship. A total of 205 institutions, representing 30 conferences compose the group. Upstate is joined on the list by five other Atlantic Sun Conference schools.