NORMAN –The University of Oklahoma men’s and women’s cross country teams finished their season in November but have recently made headlines off the course. Both the men’s and the women’s teams were named to the 2017 NCAA Division I cross country all-academic team list by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
In addition to the awards for the two teams, senior Belle Wallace was named to the women’s All-Academic team as an individual.
This marks the fourth consecutive year for the women to be recognized and third straight year for the men. It also is the fifth honor for the men in the last six years. 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. Overall, there were 423 teams that earned distinction from the USTFCCCA for their efforts both athletically and academically. Of those 431 teams, 228 were women’s and 195 were men’s.
The OU women finished the fall semester with a 3.48 GPA with the men earning a 3.21.
This marks Wallace’s first individual academic award from the USTFCCCA as she has also been a part of the past three team awards. The Norman, Okla., native earned All-Midwest Region honors last fall after finishing 16th. She is a three-time first team Academic All-Big 12 honoree and earned All-Big 12 honors this season and in 2015. She is an arts and sciences planned program major.
To qualify for the USTFCCA All-Academic cross country team, 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 25 (or top 10 percent) in 2017. A total of 265 student-athletes were honored for their athletic and academic performance.