Moon Township, Pa. - The Robert Morris University women's cross country team was honored by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Thursday as one of 205 institutions to earn 2011 NCAA Division I All-Academic Cross Country status.
To qualify as a USTFCCCA All-Academic Cross Country Team, the squad must have posted a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or better and started at least five runners at their respective NCAA regional championship.
Through the 2011 fall semester, the Colonials have posted a team GPA of 3.75, the third highest among Division I institutions. Only Alabama (3.83) of the Southeastern Conference and Southern Mississippi (3.80) of Conference USA have posted a higher team GPA than RMU.
A total of 15 student-athletes from the Robert Morris women's cross country team were named to the 2011 Northeast Conference Fall Academic Honor Roll Tuesday, including eight that earned spots on the 2011 NEC Commissioner's Fall Academic Honor Roll.
Four Colonials have posted perfect 4.00 cumulative GPA's so far, including sophomore Jenny Byerly (Lewisburg, Pa. / Lewisburg) and freshmen Brianna Iannarelli (McDonald, Pa. / Canon-McMillan), Marissa Polk (Pittsburgh, Pa. / Oakland Catholic) and Alexandra Zielinski (Buffalo, N.Y. / West Seneca East).
Byerly's major is biology, while Iannarelli, Polk and Zielinski are each nursing majors. Polk was named the 2011 NEC Freshman of the Year after finishing 17th at the 2011 NEC Cross Country Championships with a time of 19:44.30 in the five-kilometer course.
In addition, junior Kristie Domis (Pittsburgh, Pa. / Baldwin) owns a cumulative GPA of 3.99 as a nursing major, while freshmen Michelle Schiewe (Swidnica, Poland / Czestochowska Second Liceurn) and Trisha Brandt (Butler, Pa. / Butler) each own cumulative GPA's of 3.88. Schiewe studies communication, while Brandt's major is marketing.
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