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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):
Colin Baker, Penn State Jr. Economics Haddonfield, N.J.
Ryan Brennan, Penn State So. Division Of Undergraduate Studies Chester, N.Y.
Glen Burkhardt, Penn State So. Engineering Kennett Square, Pa.
Tyler Corkedale, Penn State Sr. Finance West Windsor, N.J.
Robert Creese, Penn State So. Engineering Mount Airy, Md.
Matt Fischer, Penn State Jr. Marketing Kennett Square, Pa.
Mark Fuller, Penn State Sr. Supply Chain & Information Systems Camp Hill, Pa.
Thomas Luff, Penn State Sr. Environmental Systems Engineering Emmaus, Pa.
Nick Scarpello, Penn State Jr. Advertising & Public Relations Jamison, Pa.
Women's Cross Country (14):
Leigha Anderson, Penn State So. Liberal Arts Carlisle, Pa.
Abbie Benson, Penn State So. Health & Human Development Elma, N.Y.
Natalie Bower, Penn State Sr. Kinesiology Pleasant Unity, Pa.
Rachel Casciano, Penn State So. Communications Wyomissing, Pa.
Kalyn Fisher, Penn State Jr. Childhood And Early Adolescent Education Lewisburg, Pa.
Emily Giannotti, Penn State Jr. Rehabilitation And Human Services Coudersport, Pa.
Lindsey Graybill, Penn State Sr. Elementary Education Macungie, Pa.
Kerrin Jennings, Penn State So. Division Of Undergraduate Education Glen Mills, Pa.
Marta Klebe, Penn State Jr. Supply Chain & Information Systems Chesterbrook, Pa.
Danielle Kocjancic, Penn State Jr. Communication Sciences And Disorders Kane, Pa.
Lauren Mills, Penn State So. Nutrition West Chester, Pa.
Victoria Perri, Penn State Jr. Advertising & Public Relations Philadelphia, Pa.
Katie Rodden, Penn State So. Health & Human Development Ardmore, Pa.
Colleen Shannon, Penn State Sr. Kinesiology Andover, Mass.