NEW ORLEANS – Freshman Ryan Jackson and the Salisbury University men's cross country team showed why Salisbury student-athletes excel both in competition and in the classroom this past season. The team collected the Capital Athletic Conference championship for the 10th time while Jackson was the top finisher at the race and advanced all the way to the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships.
In the classroom the Sea Gulls were one of the top academic teams in the nation and were rewarded recently, earning All-Academic status from the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA), while Jackson was named to the All-Academic Team as an individual.
For a team to be considered for the USTFCCCA All-Academic team award, the team must have competed and compiled a team score at an NCAA Regional meet. The team must also have a minimum 3.10 cumulative grade point average.
The Sea Gulls went above and beyond both numbers, placing eighth out of 47 teams competing at the 2010 NCAA Mideast Regional in November. Salisbury's success extended to the classroom where the team posted a GPA of 3.53. Of the 125 men's teams awarded (167 women's teams also earned All-Academic status), only five finished with a higher GPA than Salisbury.
Three other Capital Athletic Conference teams earned All-Academic status as well with Hood College, St. Mary's (Md.) College and York (Pa.) College receiving the honor.
To qualify for the USTFCCCA All-Academic Cross Country Team, a 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.
Jackson finished 26th at the Mideast Regional, with a time of 26:00.3, and advanced to the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships. He is the first Salisbury athlete to be named to the team since Travis Boccher in 2008.
The award is just the final step in an outstanding freshman cross country season for Jackson, who became one of the top runners in the CAC and was named the league's Rookie of the Year.
To view all of the USTFCCCA awards click here.
Top team GPAs
Earlham College (Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference) 3.58
Stevens Institute of Technology (Empire 8) 3.56
Haverford College (Centennial Conference) 3.55
Carleton College (Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) 3.54
Emory University (University Athletic Association) 3.54
Salisbury University (Capital Athletic Conference) 3.53
Thiel College (Presidents' Athletic Conference) 3.53
Wesleyan (Conn.) University 3.53