Cross Country Receives NCAA Division I All-Academic Honors

Sophomore Amber Duffin received NCAA All-Academic Individual Honors (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- Both the men's and women's cross country teams were named Division I All-Academic Cross Country Teams by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. To be honored as an All-Academic Team, teams must compete in an NCAA regional meet and have at least a cumulative team GPA of 3.0 during the 2006 fall term.

The No. 8 men recorded a cumulative team GPA of 3.28, placing themselves on the list along with 85 other teams. Senior Josh Rohatinsky, majoring in exercise science, led the Cougars throughout the season, including his 1st place finish at the NCAA National Championships.

The BYU women had the highest team GPA (3.73) of any of the 145 All-Academic women's teams.

Individual honors were awarded to Kassi Andersen and Amber Duffin. To earn All-Academic individual honors, runners were required to have at least a cumulative GPA of 3.25 and also place in the top 15 or top 10 percent of an NCAA regional meet.

Andersen had a successful junior season, winning the BYU Autumn Classic, Bill Dellinger Invitational and Mountain West Conference Championships. A three-time All-American, she competed at the Mt. Region meet and NCAA National Championships, where she placed third and sixth, respectively. Andersen is currently working towards her master's degree in physical education, with an emphasis in health promotion.

A nursing major, Duffin began the season strong by being named MWC Cross Country Athlete of the Week for her performance at the Great American Invitational. She competed in several races before receiving First-Team All-MWC honors for her fifth place finish at the MWC Championships. Duffin also earned Mt. Region honors before going on to finish in BYU's top five at the national meet.

"It's important that student athletes understand that they came to Brigham Young University to get an education," said women's head coach Patrick Shane. "They have demonstrated a will to excel academically, as well as in the athletic arena. I have seen them work hard in every facet of their lives and I'm proud of them."