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Cal Poly Cross Country Squads Earn National All-Academic Honors

Cal Poly Cross Country Squads Earn National All-Academic Honors

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Both Cal Poly cross country teams earned U.S. Track & Field/Cross Country Coaches Association All-Academic Team honors for 2018, announced Thursday.

Additionally, Mustang juniors Miranda Daschian and Katie Izzo also met the criteria to receive individual USTFCCCA Scholar-Athlete recognition.

In the full-team category, this marks the eighth consecutive season in which the women's team has collected the distinction, while it's the men's squad's second full-team honor since 2012.

In order to qualify for the national accolade, teams must have maintained a collective GPA of at least 3.0 while also competing at least at NCAA regionals. Cal Poly's women pooled to calculate a 3.38 team GPA, while the men's squad combined for an overall 3.11.

Both teams won conference championships Oct. 27 in Brea. The men's squad — led by individual Big West medalist Jake Ritter, along with Peter Cotsirilos, Evan Jameson, Benjamin Holland, Logan Marshall, Alex Merder, Sean McDermott, Mikey Giguere and Cameron Botten — completed a three-peat by scoring 32 points.

Meanwhile the women lifted the Big West trophy for the third time in four years upon tallying a score of 33, paced by Daschian as the individual champ, also led by Izzo, Peyton Bilo, Sierra Brill, Maddie McDonald, Delaney Fitzsimmons, Annie Meeder, Melodie Leroudier and Abbey Fisk.

Individually, student-athletes must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25 and finish in the top-25 (or 10 percent) at the NCAA Regional Championships. Daschian, a Psychology major from Atascadero, Calif. and Cuesta College, and Izzo, a Business major from Seal Beach, each earned All-Regional status en route to advancing to the NCAA Championship Meet in Wisconsin. Izzo came in 82nd in Madison, with Daschian following 112th.

Thursday's Scholar Team of the Year Awards went to the BYU men and Colorado women, while Wisconsin fifth-year Morgan McDonald & Oregon senior Jessica Hull, respectively, won the individual National Scholar-Athlete of the Year Awards.

Combined between men's and women's cross country and track & field, Cal Poly has now had 19 teams and 37 individuals honored with USTFCCCA All-Academic status since 2006-07.