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Feb. 16, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lion women's cross country team has garnered United States Track and Field/Cross Country Coaches' Association (USTFCCCA) All-Academic standing for the 2010 season, announced by the organization on Wednesday. To earn the award, teams must have maintained a grade point average of 3.00 or higher for the fall semester, and have competed at the NCAA Regional Championships. The Nittany Lions boasted a 3.33 GPA for the semester.
A grand total of 192 women's cross country teams earned the award, with the Big Ten faring well as a conference, as 10 of 11 squads achieved the honor. Mid-Atlantic regional foe Villanova took top honors as the "Scholar Team of the Year," following its second-straight NCAA title run.
Since Director of Track and Field/Cross Country Beth Alford-Sullivan took the helm of the women's program in 1999, the Nittany Lions have earned all-academic status on an impressive 10 occasions.
The Nittany Lion women, who ended the 2010 season ranked 26th in the NCAA, engineered an outstanding 2010 campaign, which was highlighted by the program's second-consecutive appearance at the NCAA Cross Country Championships. Since 1981, the Penn State women's squad has made 13 appearances at the NCAA Championships, which is tied for the 13th-most appearances by a Division I program.
The Nittany Lions also excelled on the regional level, placing third in the team standings, bolstered by a grand total of five All-Region (Top 25) finishes - the most in program history - including junior Caitlin Lane (Greenwich, N.Y.) in 12th, junior Kara Millhouse (Boiling Springs, Pa.) in 20th, sophomore Natalie Bower (Pleasant Unity, Pa.), in 21st, senior Maura Ryan (Doylestown, Pa.) in 22nd, and sophomore Brooklyne Ridder (Cincinnati, Ohio) in 25th. Penn State also enjoyed an outstanding showing at the Big Ten Championships, where the Nittany Lions placed fourth overall with All-Big Ten efforts from Ridder (ninth) and Bower (14th).
Penn State is in full swing in indoor track season, traveling to the Big Ten Indoor Championships, which are set for February 26-27, in West Lafayette, Ind.