Feb. 15, 2012
LOGAN, Utah - Utah State cross country runner Brian McKenna was named to the 2011 Division I All-Academic Cross Country men's team while the USU men and women were both awarded All-Academic team honors for the fifth-straight year, as announced by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
McKenna, a senior from Farmington, Utah (Viewmont HS), has a 3.40 GPA majoring in psychology and a minor in Spanish. He capped off an outstanding USU career with a 63rd-place finish at the 2011 NCAA Championships after he placed 10th at the NCAA Mountain Region Championships. He is also the first Aggie to receive the individual award for cross country since at least 2000.
"Brian is everything a coach wants," said veteran Utah State head coach Gregg Gensel. "He is a team leader, he runs well and he works hard on the course. On top of all of that, he is a great student and is very dedicated to that part of his life."
The USU women had a cumulative team GPA of 3.33 while the men had a 3.25 combined GPA. Joining the Utah State women from the Western Athletic Conference were Fresno State, Idaho, Nevada and New Mexico State while Idaho and New Mexico State accompanied the Aggie men.
"We try to stress performance in the classroom to go along with what we do on the course," Gensel said. "Our student-athletes get that picture and have done a great job as students."
To qualify for the USTFCCCA All-Academic Cross Country Team, student-athletes must have compiled a cumulative grade point average of 3.25 and have either earned USTFCCCA All-America status or finished in the NCAA region's top 15 (or top 10 percent) in 2011.
For a team to qualify as a USTFCCCA All-Academic Cross Country Team, they must have had a cumulative team GPA of 3.00 or better and have started at least five runners at their respective NCAA regional championship.
During the 2010-11 season, Utah State had 12 student-athletes earn USTFCCCA All-Academic honors for indoor and outdoor track & field. Several USU student-athletes have also earned academic honors from the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
McKenna and the Utah State track and field teams are preparing for the 2011 WAC Indoor Track and Field Championships that will be held at Jacksons Indoor Track in Nampa, Idaho on Feb. 23-25. Utah State will also send several athletes to some last chance meets on March 3 that will be determined the week prior and will then make a return trip to Jacksons Indoor Track for the 2012 NCAA Indoor Championships on March, 8-11.
Fans can follow Utah State Athletics, including USU track & field and cross country, at http://twitter.com/USUAthletics.com or on Facebook at Utah State University Athletics.
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