BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – The WKU men’s and women’s track and field teams have been recognized as All-Academic teams by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA), the organization announced this week.
All-Academic distinction is earned by a cumulative team GPA of 3.00 or higher. WKU was one of four Sun Belt Conference programs to be named All-Academic on both the men’s and women’s side. The Hilltoppers were one of 111 men’s programs honored as they tallied a cumulative GPA of 3.01 while and the Lady Toppers were one of 187 teams recognized, posting a 3.25 GPA, the highest of any Sun Belt program.
It marks the first time in program history that the men’s track and field team has earned All-Academic distinction and the second time for the women’s program, which was also honored in 2006. The Hilltoppers also received the team academic award at the Sun Belt Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships in May.
“I’m very proud of our student-athletes,” said head coach Erik Jenkins. “Our academic advisor Dianna Marshall does an outstanding job in guiding our student-athletes.”
Senior Sharika Smith, who nabbed first-team All-American honors in the triple jump during June’s NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, was individually recognized as All-Academic after recording a GPA of 3.33.
To qualify for the USTFCCCA All-Academic Track and Field Team, the student-athlete must have compiled a cumulative GPA of 3.25 and ranked Top 96 nationally in an individual event or Top 48 in a relay event.
Smith placed seventh in the triple jump at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships and ranked inside the Top 20 nationally in both the long and triple jump. Smith is the 10th Lady Topper to be named to the USTFCCCA All-Academic team since head coach Erik Jenkins took the track and field reins in 2008.