By Brad Blume, Sports Information Director
NEW ORLEANS, La. --- The South Dakota School of Mines men's and women's cross country teams became the first Hardrocker Athletics programs to receive scholastic honors from the NCAA when both squads recently received NCAA Div. II All-Academic Team Honors.
To qualify for the award, teams must have had a cumulative team GPA of 3.00 or better and have compiled a team score at their respective NCAA regional championship. The Hardrocker men's team had a combined GPA of 3.35 while the Lady 'Rockers GPA for the season was 3.21.
"It's really an honor to receive these awards," said Hardrocker cross country head coach Jerry Schafer. "Our athletes dedicate a lot of time training and competing and you can see the results and the success they have. These types of awards also show how they are putting in the same dedication to their studies and I think it's great they are getting recognition for their efforts."
The Hardrockers, who were a provisional member of the NCAA this season, traveled to Joplin, Mo., Nov. 3, 2012, where the SD Mines men finished 17th and the Lady Hardrockers earned 22nd.
"Our cross country programs were the first at SD Mines to compete in an NCAA affiliated post-season event. I think it's fitting the same teams be the first to receive NCAA accolades," Schafer said. "I'm really proud of our student-athletes."
A total of 88 men's and 127 women's teams received All-Academic team honors which were selected and governed by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. The Hardrockers were the only two squads selected as an independent program (no conference affiliation). The men's team ranked 14th out of 88.