Cross country earns USTFCCCA All-Academic status

February 28, 2013

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Nittany Lion men's and women's cross country squads have earned United States Track and Field/Cross Country Coaches' Association (USTFCCCA) All-Academic standing, announced by the association on Monday (Feb. 25). Also garnering All-Academic status individually were senior Sam Masters (Columbia, Mo.), juniors Victoria Perri (Philadelphia, Pa.), and Emily Giannotti (Coudersport, Pa.), and sophomore Leigha Anderson (Carlisle, Pa.).

The Nittany Lion women's squad, which posted a 14th-place standing at the NCAA Cross Country Championships this past fall, posted a cumulative GPA of 3.40 for the fall season as one of 200 women's teams to earn All-Academic honors. 11 Big Ten squads earned the honor, as well as 27 of the 31 teams who appeared at the NCAA Championships.

Perri - an advertising and public relations major - paced the Nittany Lions with a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships, leading Penn State to its first-ever regional victory. Also copping top finishes at the regional championships were Anderson, and Giannotti, who placed 20th and 21st, respectively. Perri would lead the Lions again at the NCAA Championships, finishing 47th overall. 115 Division I athletes earned All-Academic honors on the women's side, including nearly 20 harriers from the Big Ten Conference.

Masters, who is a graduate student in kinesiology, had a stellar senior campaign, qualifying for the NCAA Championships via a 12th-place standing at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional. Masters led a highly successful men's squad, which copped All-Academic status with a GPA of 3.28, to join a total of 145 teams on the list, including eight from the Big Ten.

To qualify for the USTFCCCA All-Academic Cross Country Team, student-athletes 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 2012. To earn All-Academic Team status, 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.

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Last Updated February 28, 2013