Rams cross country earns six academic honors from USTFCCCA

Rams cross country earns six academic honors from USTFCCCA”

Of the 242 women's teams that earned the honor this year, the Bearcats tied for the 22nd-highest GPA.

Six Hope women's runners were among 374 Division III women's runners to be named USTFCCCA All-Academic: seniors Erin Herrmann of Wheaton, Illinois (Wheaton-Warrenville South HS), Emily Joosse of Chillicothe, Ohio (Zane Trace), and Jessica Gaines of Sterling Heights, Michigan (Utica Academy); junior Alissa Frazee of Watervliet, Michigan (Home School); and sophomores Emily Hamilton of Naperville, Illinois (Naperville North) and Avery Lowe of North Muskegon, Michigan (North Muskegon).

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The women's team wrapped up the 2016 season at the NCAA Championships with an 18th-place finish, recording the first back-to-back top-20 finish at the championships in the programs NCAA history following a 16th-place finish at last year's championships.

Hrusko earned her third straight Women's Cross Country All-Academic award and was joined by Belko, who ran for the Ospreys for the first time in 2016.

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For a team to be considered for this distinction, it must have competed and compiled a team score at a NCAA Regional Meet. Cleirigh Buttner was the team's top finisher (seventh overall) at the Mid-Atlantic Regional, and came in second in the team lineup in each of her other four races. Burda, a Biology major, compiled a ideal 4.0 grade-point average as a freshman in 2015-16 and became the second Villanovan in the eight-year history of the Elite 90 award to earn the honor.

In addition to the team award, Alli Cash, Samantha Nadel and Katie Rainsberger were also given USTFCCCA All-Academic honors. On the course, Burda repeated as an all-region and All-BIG EAST performer. Nominations for the team honors required a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.

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Thomas, a senior environmental science major, tallied the second-consecutive All-Academic honor of her career. The members of the Villanova women's team combined for a 3.64 GPA during the Fall semester.

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