By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director
NEW ORLEANS, La. -- The Willamette University men's and women's track and field teams have received All-Academic status from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) for the 2016 season. Willamette's teams have consistently qualified for these awards under Head Coach Matt McGuirk.
The USTFCCCA honored 175 women's track and field teams and 112 men's track and field teams in NCAA Division III for their academic success. Each All-Academic team needed at least a 3.1 cumulative team grade point average on a 4.0 scale.
On its way to claiming All-Academic status, the Bearcat women's team achieved a 3.39 cumulative GPA. The Willamette men's team completed the academic year with a 3.28 cumulative GPA.
Fontbonne University (Mo.) topped the list of All-Academic Division III women's teams with a 3.84 cumulative GPA. Waynesburg University (Pa.) led all men's teams with a 3.70 cumulative GPA.
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse was selected Men's Outdoor Track and Field Scholar Team of the Year. The Eagles won the NCAA men's title and recorded a 3.20 cumulative GPA. The Women's Outdoor Track and Field Scholar Team of the Year was Illinois Wesleyan University, which won the NCAA women's championship and earned a 3.34 cumulative GPA.
Scholar Team of the Year honors go to the men's team and the women's team placing the highest at the most recent NCAA Championships while also receiving All-Academic status.
In addition to the Bearcats claiming All-Academic team honors in both men's and women's track, a total of six Willamette athletes also registered individual academic recognition.
Bearcats chosen for All-Academic Women's Track and Field Team were Ami Boucher (Jr., Concord, CA/Northgate HS), Hannah Bressler (Sr., Oak Harbor, WA/Oak Harbor HS), Olivia Mancl (Jr./So., Seattle, WA/Roosevelt HS), Taylor Ostrander (Sr., Kenai, AK/Kenai Central HS) and Hannah Swanson (So., Seattle, WA/Roosevelt HS). The All-Academic Men's Track and Field Team included Hans Lehndorff (Sr., Boulder, CO/Boulder HS).
The Willamette track and field teams were represented by five athletes at the 2016 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Willamette's group of national competitors included academic award winners Bressler, Mancl, Ostrander and Swanson. Earlier in the season, the Bearcats won five events at the Northwest Conference Championships. WU's NWC champions included Lehndorff in the men's discus, Bressler in the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase, and Ostrander in the women's 5,000-meter run.