NASHVILLE - After wrapping up a successful season, the Lipscomb track and field squad added multiple national academic honors to its 2015-16 resume, as announced by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Association.
The women’s team were named All-Academic after finishing third in the nation with a cumulative GPA of 3.67, just .01 points behind the nation’s highest ranked team the University of San Francisco. The Lady Bisons topped last season’s list.
The men also each the All-Academic status by finishing tied for sixth place with a 3.38 cumulative GPA, close behind the overall leader Butler at 3.49.
Each team’s mark was the highest in the Atlantic Sun.
"We always say that we are about the total person, and we strive for excellence and growth athletically, academically, spiritually, and personally, all equally,” Director of Cross Country and Track and Field Bill Taylor said. “The national academic awards are always a nice reinforcement that we are what we say we are.”
"These awards are so close at the top,” Taylor said. “Last year we were honored to be first in the nation with the women. This year they are third by just .01 of a GPA point. That shows how important each person on the team is to take care of their academics.”
On the women’s side, senior Madi Talbert and juniors Barbara Lee Ball and Sally Larson were each named individual honors. Junior Wayne Newman earned an All-Academic nod for the men’s side.
"I'm really proud of the four individual All-Academic honors,” Taylor said. “They had to be amazing athletically and academically. We want to continue to get more of our athletes qualified for the NCAA Division I National Championships so they can earn that honor too.”
"We have a tradition of academic excellence at Lipscomb,” Taylor said. “I every season of men's and women's cross country and track & field since I arrived nine years ago we have earned national team-academic honors.The men have been first in the nation twice and second twice, I think. The women have been first and second several times as well. We have had both teams in the top five in the same season several times, and obviously just missed having that again this year.”
To receive the honor, a student-athlete must have compiled a 3.25 GPA and achieved one of two athletic-related accomplishments. For the indoor season, a student-athlete must have finished the regular season ranked in the national top-96 in an individual event or ranked in the national top-48 in a relay event. For the outdoor season, a student-athlete must have participated in any round of the NCAA Division I Championships, which includes the preliminary rounds.
"The mens’s and women's track and field and cross country teams take great pride in being top-10 nationally in the academic rankings almost every year and season,” Taylor said. “They work hard in the classroom. They work hard at practice and in competition. We send mission teams and community service teams out every year. I'm very pleased with who we have in ourprogram, and the contributions they are making to the program, the community, the world and to their own personal development and growth."