Panthers recognized by USTFCCCA as All-Academic Teams
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – The Plymouth State University men's and women's cross country teams have been recognized for their success in the classroom and on the running trails.
Both programs were honored by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) by being named All-Academic Teams. This is the fourth straight year the women's team earned the distinction, while the men are honored for the third consecutive time.
For a team to be considered it must have competed and compiled a team score at an NCAA Regional meet and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.10 on a 4.00 scale. In total, 393 NCAA Division III programs were honored; 215 women's programs and 178 men's teams. The Panther men compiled a team GPA of 3.24, while the women posted a 3.20.
Plymouth State was one of three Little East Conference (LEC) schools to be recognized and one of two to earn the honor on both the men's and women's side.
Led by fifth-year head coach John Ostler, the women's team posted a program-best .639 winning percentage among Division III teams. Freshman Kim Bowles (Wonalancet, N.H.) burst onto the scene, capping an impressive rookie campaign with the best finish for a female racer at the NCAA Division III New England Region Championships in program history. The women finished 27th in the field of 57.
The men were equally impressive. Bolstered by seniors Sam Brunnette (Newport Center, Vt.) and Warren Bartlett (Loudon, N.H.) the team finished third at the Little East Championships. Brunnette became just the second runner in LEC history to three-peat, while Bartlett finished second. Brunnette followed with a dynamic performance at the regional championship, defending his New England crown to guide the Panthers to an 18th place finish. He represented PSU at the national championship meet for the second straight year.
"I'm very proud, but not surprised," said Ostler. "Our men and women work very hard to earn this distinction. We make no secret of the fact that being designated Academic All-America as a team is a primary goal every fall. It's a good feeling to string together a couple straight years receiving this honor; earning this should be the norm for our group. I feel lucky to work with such a well-rounded group of student-athletes."
– 30 –