NEW ORLEANS, La. – The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced Wednesday that junior Tim Freriks, as well as both the men's and women's cross country teams at Northern Arizona University had earned Division I All-Academic honors for the 2011 season.
This is the eighth time under Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Eric Heins that his squads have earned the distinguished honor.
"We continue to appreciate the support by academic services and all that Pam Lowie, Diana Ulrey, and their staff does for our teams to help them throughout the semester," Heins said. "Keeping these strong GPAs throughout the season just shows how hard the athletes work both on and off the course."
To qualify as a USTFCCCA All-Academic Cross Country Team, the team must have had a cumulative team GPA of 3.00 or better and have started at least five runners at their respective NCAA regional championship. To earn individual honors, a the student-athlete must have compiled a cumulative grade point average of 3.25 and have either earned USTFCCCA All-America status or finished in the NCAA region's top 15 (or top 10 percent) in 2011.
Freriks, who finished the fall semester with a 3.72 GPA, came in third on the team at the NCAA Mountain Region Championships with an 11th-place overall finish.
A total of 205 women's teams represent 30 conferences, including Idaho State, Montana, Montana State, NAU and Sacramento State from the Big Sky. On the men's side, 147 schools earned the academic honor, including ISU, UM, MSU, and Weber State from the Big Sky Conference.
The women's squad earned a 3.56 GPA for the 2011 campaign, which led all NAU teams and was .21 grade points better than 2010. The team was headlined by five Big Sky All-Academic honorees in senior Kortnee Burton, juniors Agnes Laurent and Haley Lawrence, and freshmen Caroline Hogardh and Kylee Kieser.
The men's team that finished 14th overall at the NCAA Cross Country Championships recorded a 3.22 GPA for the season, an improvement of .06 from last year. In addition to Freriks, they were led in the classroom by All-Big Sky Academic selections Matt Coloe, Chris Ganem, and Caleb Hoover, all of whom earned 4.0 GPAs, as well seniors Andrew Belus and John Yatsko.