NEW ORLEANS, La. --- Moravian College has had four runners named United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Academic individuals and its and women's cross country squad honored as an All-Academic Team by the USTFCCCA for the 2017 season.
Moravian's honorees were sophomore Katie Mayer and freshman Grace Gilbert rom the women's team and sophomores Gregory Jaindl and Gavin Kemery from the men's squad. Mayer is studying Environmental Science while Gilbert is still deciding on her major at Moravian . Jaindl is majoring Health Sciences and Kemery is an English major.
To earn All-Academic individual honors, student-athletes must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.30 and have finished in the top 25 percent of the finishers at the NCAA Division III Regionals last November. That group total 368 women and 330 men including the four Greyhounds.
Gilbert led the women's team at the 2017 Landmark Conference Championships with a 12th place finish among the 84 runners in a time of 25:03.82 on the 6,000-meter course to earn Second Team All-Conference honors. Mayer was one spot back in 13th at 25:13.45 as she earned All-Conference honors for the second time in her career after being the 2016 Landmark Conference Rookie of the Year and on the All-Conference First Team in 2016. Mayer also garnered NCAA Division III All-Mideast Region honors with a 25th place finish in 22:54.60.
For the men, Jaindl finished third at the 2017 Landmark Conference Championships in a time of 27:32.33 on the 8,000-meter course as he earned All-Conference honors for the second time in his career after being on the First Team in 2016. Kemery was tenth in the meet in a time of 28:31.36 as he earned All-Conference Second Team honors for the second straight. Jaindl also earned All-Region Honors with a 35th place finish at the 2017 NCAA Division III Mideast Regional in 25:55.30.
"Cross Country requires intrinsic motivation. As I tell our team every May, half of the cross country season is the summer months when they're at home alone," stated Head Coach Jesse Baumann. "It's up to them to log the miles and workouts every single day, even when they're on vacation, when it's 90 degrees, or they just finished a long day of their summer job and it's easy to find an excuse not to put in the work. They have to work the hardest when nobody else is there to push them or directly tell them what to do. It's no surprise that the best athletes are often the best students because that discipline and drive is precisely what you need to be a good student. There are no adoring crowds, high fives, or medals for acing your chemistry quiz. You just have to be motivated to do well for its own sake."
The women's team also maintained a 3.50 cumulative GPA after the fall semester and was one of 221 women's teams to earn All-Academic honors. To be considered an All-Academic Team, programs must have a cumulative GPA of 3.10 or greater and also complied a team score at the NCAA Regionals.
"There was an academic awards ceremony just Sunday where almost 1/3rd of our cross country team was honored at," noted Baumann. "It's very gratifying as a coach to see the athletes succeed in both realms. We're blessed with some really good students, athletes, and people on our roster right now. Greg, Gavin, Grace, and Katie all deserve the recognition for outstanding seasons and a great meet in November. Greg had a huge breakout year, Grace was battling through what we now believe was a stress reaction that day, and Katie and Gavin continued to be strong staples for our team. They did all of this while excelling in the class, so they deserve to be honored. However, it's worth noting that our entire cross country program embodies precisely what you're looking for in a student-athlete as Sunday was yet another reflection of this."
To view the complete list of the USTFCCCA Academic honorees, visit http://www.ustfccca.org/2018/02/featured/2017-ncaa-diii-cross-country-team-all-academic-awards for the team honorees and http://www.ustfccca.org/2018/02/featured/2017-ncaa-diii-cross-country-individual-all-academic-awards for the individuals.