Athletes given all-academic honors

by Katie Buchholz

Both men and women’s track and field teams earned the Division III all-academic track and field team honors for the 2011 season.

Simpson men’s track and field had a team grade-point average of 3.27. This was one of 64 teams nationally and one of only two in the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC) to meet the essential 3.10 cumulative GPA.

“It is rewarding to be recognized for our efforts as a group,” senior Jarrod Schott said. “It shows our commitment to get the most out of ourselves whether we are in the classroom or competing on the track.”

Simpson women’s track and field had a team grade-point average of 3.44. This was one of 111 teams nationally to meet the required 3.10 cumulative GPA. Simpson placed second in the IIAC.

“The status of an all-academic team shows that both our men and women’s programs have reached a high academic level which portrays good character,” senior Chelsey Degen said. “It takes responsibility and communication with professors, coaches and ourselves.”

The teams have to manage their time well in order to be successful student-athletes and achieve this high status.

“I think it’s all about discipline, especially being involved in athletics,” junior Jordan Maher said. “You have to know when it’s time to have fun and when it’s time to hit the books.”

Senior Ryan Edwardson said he often sees small study parties between two or three student-athletes on bus rides.

“I myself have written several papers start-to-finish at track meets,” Edwardson said.

The All-Academic status motivates both teams to work much harder this year to maintain their prestigious position.

“We know that we are student-athletes and we make it a priority to uphold both parts of that role,” Schott said.

This award was announced by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCA) on Tuesday, Aug. 9 and Wednesday, Aug. 10.

Both teams are coached by Dave Cleveland, now in his sixth year as head coach at Simpson.