Willamette Track and Field Teams Achieve All-Academic Awards

By Brandon Chinn, Athletics Communications Writer

NEW ORLEANS, LA. -- The Willamette University men's and women's track and field teams have earned All-Academic status from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) for the 2014 season.

A total of 158 women's track and field teams and 93 men's track and field teams received All-Academic honors in NCAA Division III. In order to be eligible, each team needed at least a 3.1 cumulative grade point average (4.0 scale). 

The Willamette women's team attained a 3.41 cumulative grade point average. The Bearcat men's team concluded the spring semester with a 3.32 cumulative GPA.

Principia College (Illinois) ranked first on the academic list of Division III women's teams with a 3.75 cumulative GPA. Principia also led all men's teams by achieving a 3.63 cumulative GPA.

The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse was selected indoor and outdoor Men's Track and Field Scholar Team of the Year. The Eagles won the NCAA indoor championship and took second place at the outdoor championship. UW-La Cross earned a cumulative team GPA of 3.13.

After winning the indoor NCAA Division III title, the women's track and field team at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh received indoor Women's Track and Field Scholar Team of the Year honors with a 3.12 cumulative GPA.

The outdoor Women's Track and Field Scholar Team of the Year was Wartburg College (Ia.), which won it third consecutive NCAA championship. The Wartburg women's team concluded the year with a 3.37 cumulative team grade point average.

The Scholar Team of the Year awards go to the men's team and the women's team placing the highest in the most recent NCAA Championships while also claiming All-Academic honors.

In addition to the Bearcats earning All-Academic honors for both teams, six Willamette track and field athletes were selected to the 2014 NCAA Division III All-Academic Teams as chosen by the USTFCCCA.

All-Academic selections from Willamette were Hannah Bressler (So., Oak Harbor, WA/Oak Harbor HS), Bekah Daniel (Sr., Silverdale, WA/Central Kitsap HS), Michaela Freeby (Jr., Milwaukie, OR/Rex Putnam HS), Tyler Higley (Jr., Aloha, OR/Aloha HS), Jordan Loos (Sr., Springfield, OR/Thurston HS), Taylor Ostrander (So., Kenai, AK/Kenai Central HS). See the article about the individual academic award winners.

This spring, both of Willamette's track and field teams placed third at the Northwest Conference Championships. WU won four men's events and four women's events. At the NCAA Championships, the Bearcats were represented by six athletes.

Michaela Freeby competed at the NCAA Championships in the steeplechase for the third year in a row.

Michaela Freeby competed at the NCAA Championships in the steeplechase for the third year in a row.