23 Cross Country Athletes Earn Academic All-Big Ten Honors
Dec. 18, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.: December 18, 2012 - Excelling on the field and in the classroom, 23 members of the Nittany Lion men's and women's cross country squads have earned Academic All-Big Ten honors, announced by conference offices. Among the honorees was sophomore Katie Rodden (Ardmore, Pa.), who is one of just three Nittany Lion fall sports athletes to carry a perfect 4.0 cumulative grade-point average.
The Nittany Lion men's cross country team earned the most Academic citations among conference teams, leading all Big Ten men's cross country programs with nine honorees. Meanwhile, the women's cross country squad earned a total of 14 All-Academic citations - the highest single season total in program history.
The Nittany Lions' total of 23 honorees is the second-highest total in program history, behind 26 All-Academic awardees during the 1993 fall season.
Rodden was also a finalist for the NCAA Elite 89 Award, which is presented to the student-athlete with the highest GPA among competitors at each respective NCAA Championship. Rodden was one of just four women in the near 300-athlete field to boast a perfect 4.0.
Overall, 100 Penn State student-athletes - representing seven fall sports - earned All-Academic status, bettering the Nittany Lions' previous record-total of 81 for fall sports teams, set in 2007. Penn State's 100 honorees led all conference schools. Northwestern was second with 94. The 100 honorees brings Penn State's all-time total to 4,124 in the 20th year of the program. Men's and women's cross country has accounted for 343 of those honorees since 1992.
Current Director and Head Coach of Track and Field/Cross Country Beth Alford-Sullivan has overseen 155 Academic All-Big Ten performances since her arrival as women's head coach in 1999, and taking the reins of the men's team in 2006.
Both cross country teams recorded solid seasons on the course this fall, with the women's team turning in a 14th-place finish at the NCAA Cross Country Championships last month. The finish was the Nittany Lions' third top 14 finish in the last four years, as well as their fourth-straight appearance at the NCAA event. Junior and All-Academic honoree Victoria Perri (Philadelphia, Pa.) was the Nittany Lions' top finisher at NCAAs, turning in a 47th-place standing overall.
The women's team also claimed the program's first-ever NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional title during the course of season, while the men turned in a fifth-place effort at the event. All told, the Nittany Lions earned a total of seven USTFCCCA All-Region finishers at the competition.
Men's Cross Country (9):
Women's Cross Country (14):