March 10, 2010
NEW ORLEANS - The University of New Mexico men's and women's cross country teams were recently honored by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) for their excellence in the classroom during the 2009 season. Both squads earned All-Academic Team honors, while seniors Rory Fraser and Chris Barnicle were two of just 58 men to earn individual All-Academic status.
To be eligible for the individual award a student-athlete must carry a minimum 3.25 cumulative grade point average and must finish among the top 15 finishers (or top 10 percent) of the field at their respective NCAA regional meet.
Fraser finished seventh at the NCAA Mountain Region Championships, while Barnicle was 13th.
For a team to be considered for the USTFCCCA All-Academic Team award, it must have competed and compiled a team score at an NCAA Regional Championship and also have a minimum 3.00 team cumulative GPA.
Record totals of 176 Division I women's programs and 135 men's programs received USTFCCCA All-Academic Team honors.
Nine of the top 10 and 18 of the top 20 women's teams at the NCAA Cross Country Championships earned the honor. Four of the top five and seven of the top 10 men's teams at the NCAA Cross Country Championships were recognized.
The UNM men (3.08 team GPA) earned their best NCAA finish in program history, tying for eighth. The women's team (3.48 team GPA), meanwhile, finished 13th - it's best at the NCAA meet since 1981. The Lobos' combined NCAA Championship score was the fourth-best in the country.