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Cross Country

Gamecock Cross Country Earns Top Team Grade Point Average in the Nation
Feb. 11, 2015

COLUMBIA, S.C. - The South Carolina cross country team earned USTFCCCA All-Academic Team honors for the 14th straight year, but this year it is even more special. This year, it has the distinction of holding the top grade point average in the country. It marks the second time the team has achieved the top GPA nationally, with the first coming in 2008.

"Given the academic history here and the long history of doing well in the academic team competition it certainly has been a goal of ours as a team and as a staff to get back to number one," said Andrew Allden, distance and cross country coach. "We were very pleased to do that."

The Gamecocks posted a team GPA of 3.79, surpassing the other 309 reported qualifying teams on the women's side as well as the men, with Vanderbilt winning that distinction with a mark of 3.73.

"It's phenomenal. This is another milestone of heading to, as we say, the `mountaintop experience'," said head coach Curtis Frye. "A college student's ultimate goal is to be the best student you can be at the same time as you being competitive as an athlete. I'm thrilled and proud of Coach Allden and the team."

This is the fifth time in the last eight years that Carolina earned a spot in the top ten. The team was competitive on the field as well, recording the best regional finish of any of the top six schools on the list.

"To me, the numbers beyond the 3.79 that are significant is our large roster of 27 women and the fact that we didn't have anybody below a 3.20, everybody was pulling their weight," Allden said. "Beyond that, we had 13 freshmen, so a lot of them could have had a rough first semester but it didn't happen. Seven of our student-athletes are in the honors college, and many are pursuing aggressive majors. A lot of kids are challenging themselves and doing very well."


Both Frye and Allden acknowledged the academic support staff and the top-of-the-line academic facilities at South Carolina that made a big difference.

"Cross country, nationwide, is strong academically. The discipline it takes to put in the mileage and still major in tough subjects, kids that do that sport are committed kids," Frye added. "I'm proud that we are continuing to support the fertile ground where a person can have the academic side of excellence. Excellence in academics is expected at Carolina, this is a Carolina standard."


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