WVU Women's Track Tops In Academics

The West Virginia University women's track and field team has been named the 2008 U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) top academic team overall, announced today. WVU topped 117 Division I programs that were recognized with an overall grade point average of 3.580.

"I couldn't be more proud and pleased," says Head Coach Sean Cleary. "These young ladies epitomize what student-athletes should stand for: excellence on the track and in the classroom."

The USTFCCA also announced the women's 2008 Division I All-Academic Track and Field team. Five Mountaineers were named to the All-Academic team which was composed on a record total of 468 student-athletes representing 140 schools.

All-Americans Marie-Louise Asselin and Keri Bland were named to the team along with teammates April Rotilio, Alison Spiker and Katelyn Williams. While some of the athletes qualified for more than one event, only one needed to be submitted for the award.

To qualify for the USTFCCA All-Academic Track and Field Team, a student-athlete must have compiled a cumulative GPA of 3.25 and have met either the NCAA Division I indoor automatic or provisional qualifying standard or the NCAA Division I outdoor regional or national qualifying standard in their respective event.

Asselin, a native of Sarnia, Ontario, ran a 2:47.94 in the 1,000-meter event at the Penn State National Invitational, and finished first with a time of 9:20.56 in the 3,000 meter event at the BIG EAST Indoor Track and Field Championship. Asselin was named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District 2 first team by College Sports Information Directors of America.

Bland, a native of Fairview, W.Va, finished fourth with a time of 2:48.66 in the 1,000-meter event at the BIG EAST Indoor Championship, and ran a 4:17.94 in the BIG EAST Outdoor Track and Field Championship. Bland was WVU's first ever three-time All-America in the same year, earning honors in cross country, indoor and outdoor track last year.

Rotilio qualified as a member of the distance medley relay team that finished first at the BIG EAST Indoor Championships with a time of 11:16.87. While team captain Spiker, a native of Ripley, W.Va., qualified with a time of 10:47.55 in the 3,000 meter steeple event at the BIG EAST Outdoor Championship.

Williams, a Chesterland, Ohio, native qualified by clearing 5-9 3/4 in the high jump event at the Penn Relays.

Fifteen members of the track and field team were also recognized as Big East Academic All-Stars last week.

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