Guilford College’s Cross Country Teams Receive Division III All-Academic Awards

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Guilford College’s men’s and women’s cross country teams earned 2012 Division III Cross Country All-Academic Awards from the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). Three of Guilford’s student-athletes were also recognized as USTFCCCA All-Academic honorees: Juniors David Cason (Clemmons, N.C./West Forsyth), Andris Goncarovs (Ithaca, N.Y./Lehman Alternative Community School (Buffalo State)) and Chad Norton (Walled Lake, Mich./Walled Lake). The trio was among 162 individuals honored.

The women’s team had a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.485. The Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) placed seven of its 10 women’s teams on the list, which is comprised of 197 teams. Eastern Mennonite University, a conference foe, reported the highest GPA in the country through the fall 2012 semester with a 3.76.

The Quakers’ men’s team recorded a cumulative GPA of 3.314, earning them a spot among the top 141 academically strong NCAA Division III teams. California Institute of Technology reported the highest GPA, with a 3.72. Five ODAC teams received the accolade.

Cason ran a career-best eight kilometers in 26:40.99 this season. His time ranks 21st in school history and his time at NCAA Regionals ranks 26th (26:47.88). Cason’s top overall finish in 2012 came October 6 at the Hagan Stone XC Classic where he placed seventh (27:27.53). Cason is a resident advisor and biology teaching assistant at Guilford. He received Guilford’s Eva Campbell Biology Scholarship and the 2012 Alden Excellence Scholarship for his achievement in the classroom.

Goncarovs eared All-South/Southeast Region recognition with his fourth-place finish (26:44.21) at the NCAA regional meet Nov. 10 in Hampton, Ga. Goncarovs finished 107th in his first appearance at the NCAA DIII Championships with an eight-kilometer time of 25:45.6, his second-best time of the season and the eighth-fastest in school history. He was also named to the All-ODAC First Team after he finished third at the league championships (26:44.21). Goncarovs also earned a spot on the conference’s Sportsmanship Team.

Norton received All-Academic recognition for the second consecutive season. He made his second straight appearance at the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships on Nov. 17 in Terre Haute, Ind. and crossed the finish line in a personal-best 25:31.1. The eight-kilometer time ranks fifth in school history and his 73rd-place finish marks the best NCAA result by a Guilford runner. Norton placed 11th (26:23.84) at the South/Southeast Regionals, earning him all-region honors for the second year in a row. He received First Team All-ODAC recognition by virtue of his eighth-place finish at the ODAC Championships (27:01.49). Norton is also a resident advisor and a teaching assistant in the physics department at Guilford.

To qualify for the USTFCCCA All-Academic Cross Country Team, the student-athlete must have compiled a cumulative grade point average of 3.30 or greater through the most-recent semester and placed in the top 35 at the NCAA Regional Championships.