NEW ORLEANS – The Air Force women’s cross country team earned U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Division I All-Academic Team honors for the 2016 season, the USTFCCCA announced this morning (Feb. 9). In addition, sophomore Jaci Smith was honored with individual All-Academic recognition.
To qualify as an All-Academic Cross Country Team, the program must’ve had a combined team grade-point-average of 3.00 or better. Claiming its first USTFCCCA All-Academic Team award since 2013, Air Force was ranked 20th in the final national standings, placed second at the Mountain West Championships, finished third at the Mountain Regional and advanced to the first NCAA Division I Cross Country Championship meet in Academy history.
Smith, one of 168 women in the nation to earn individual USTFCCCA All-Academic honors, became the program’s first honoree since 2010 – and the first female to receive the distinction since Dolly Patel earned the award at the Division II level in 1995.
In order to qualify for an individual academic citation, athletes must have a cumulative GPA or 3.25 or higher and finish within the top-25 (or 10 percent) at the regional championships or earn All-America honors at the national meet. The Air Force sophomore, who easily bettered the GPA minimum requirement, finished fourth at the Mountain Regional Meet with a 6K time of 20:19.90 – the sixth-fastest 6K in Air Force’s Division I history.