The Stetson cross country teams turned in a sparkling year in the class room, with 14 of the 16 members of the men’s and women’s team earning recognition on the Atlantic Sun academic honor roll.
Two members of the women's cross country team – Stephanie Bird and Maria Harper – were named on the Presidential Scholar list, indicating a grade point average of 3.8 or better.
“Maria Harper is the epitome of the collegiate athlete,” Stetson cross country coach Joe Mateszczak said. “She works hard both on and off the field. It is good to see both of them get this honor. They graduated a semester early, which shows their dedication to hard work.”
The other five members of the women's named to the A-Sun All-Academic team were on the Conference honor roll. That list included a total of 406 student-athletes from around the league, 55 from Stetson. Those students were recognized for their sustained achievement over at least two years to go with a 3.4 or better GPA.
“Having this many of our runners make this list shows they are performing well athletically as well as in the classroom,” Mateszczak said. “Performing well in school is what is going to give them a career.”
Overall, the A-Sun recognized 1,416 student-athletes as All-Academic selections for their work in the classroom by reaching the 3.0 mark. Additionally, 89 percent of the A-Sun's 18 championship teams had at least half of the student-athletes on their rosters earn All-Academic recognition.
Stetson was one of four league institutions to have had more than 70 percent of its student-athletes recognized for having a grade-point average of at least 3.0. Stetson had 139 of its 197 student-athletes who competed in the Atlantic Sun recognized.
“I applaud all who continue to successfully achieve as student-athletes,” A-Sun Commissioner Ted Gumbart said. “To see nearly two-thirds of our student-athletes earn this level of academic distinction means that they certainly are committed to the A-Sun's mission of ‘Building Winners for Life.’
“It is important to recognize that this is a team effort, due to the commitment of the athletic administration, coaches and staff of our member institutions, who daily serve as the catalysts for such impressive development of our young people. Congratulations and thank you again to the institutions and to each student-athlete for providing such an outstanding representation of the Atlantic Sun Conference.”