Feb. 9, 2012
By Bob Thomas, Seminoles.com
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The Florida State women's cross country team spent five weeks at No. 1 in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) rankings this past fall; the longest run by any Division I team program during the 2011 season.
On Thursday coach Karen Harvey's Seminoles once again ascended to a place of distinction on the national stage. The USTFCCCA honored six of Harvey's FSU harriers with 2011 Division I All-Academic Cross Country honors.
Not only did Florida State lead all schools with six honorees, but the Seminoles had two more than Michigan and Vanderbilt, their closest competitors. In all, the coaches association recognized 104 student-athletes from 67 institutions who met the stringent criteria of compiling a 3.25 GPA and earned either USTFCCCA All-America status or finished in the top 10 percent at their respective NCAA Regional Championship.
"Balancing academics and athletics is a daily struggle at Florida State," said Harvey. "To see these ladies excel at such a high level in the classroom brings myself and our program great pride."
Leading the way for the Seminoles, who finished fourth at the NCAA Championship after rolling to the NCAA South Region title, were All-Americans Hannah Brooks and Amanda Winslow. They were joined on the All-Academic squad by teammates Jessica Parry, Colleen Quigley, Kayleigh Tyerman and Aubree Worden.
Brooks, a graduate student in sports psychology, and Quigley, a freshman currently in the exploratory program, posted perfect 4.0 GPA's. Worden (3.87, exercise science), Tyerman (3.71, psychology), Parry (3.44, biological science) and Winslow (3.43, sport management) each flourished in the classroom and on the course, as well. All six have cumulative GPA's of 3.7 or higher for their academic careers.
The Seminoles clearly follow in the footsteps of their coach. Harvey, a Michigan graduate with a degree in anthropology, was a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree and the conference's 1995 Scholar Athlete of the Year.
With Florida State paving the way, the Atlantic Coast Conference had 14 student-athletes earn All-Academic honors, one fewer than the Big Ten and Big East. The Seminoles have finished atop the podium at the ACC Championship in each of Harvey's five seasons as the helm.
With its outstanding season on the course and in the classroom, Harvey's squad should be a strong contender for the Scholar Team of the Year honors, which will be announced Monday. That award goes to the team that earned All-Academic status and placed highest at the NCAA Cross Country Championship.