Thursday, December 23, 2010

Cragg, Birdsong lead four Grizzlies on RMAC All-Academic XC team

Cragg one of two unanimous first-team selections in RMAC

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Adams State College senior Luke Cragg (Leeds, England) was one of just two unanimous selections and was joined by fellow senior Brandong Birdsong (Lubbock, Texas) on the first team as well as two other Grizzlies on the honor roll of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference's Men's Cross Country All-Academic Team, announced Wednesday by league officials.

Joining Cragg and Birdsong, were redshirt freshman Robert Frederick (Arvada, Colo.) and sophomore Jordan Patterson (Sherman, Ill.), both named the honor roll.

Western State, who finished as the runner-up to Adams State the RMAC, Central Regional and NCAA Division II championship meets, was the only other school with more than one representative on the first team, including RMAC Academic Runner of the Year Sean Brown.

The league women's all-academic cross country squad was also dominated by Grizzlies, who had four first team selections, including senior Kristen McGlynn (Bailey, Colo.), named as the RMAC's Academic Runner of the Year.

To be eligible for the awards, a student-athlete must have had a cumulative GPA of 3.30 or higher going into the cross country season, up from the previous requirement of 3.20, be a starter or reserve and completed at least two semesters at their current institution.

This was the fourth year in the sport of cross country when sports information directors at the RMAC institutions that sponsor the sport selected first and second teams. These SID's took into account the student-athletes work in the classroom and on the course. In previous years, all student athletes that met the minimum criteria simply received an honor roll award.

Cragg was the Grizzlies No. 2 runner in his first three races of the season, including the Joe I. Vigil Open where he placed third overall and the Rocky Mountain Shootout hosted by the University of Colorado, where he was seventh overall. At the NCAA Division II Central Regional Championships, he was the first Grizzly across the line, claiming third place overall, and was Adams State's No. 3 runner while earning all-America accolades with an 11th place finish at the NCAA Division II National Championships, which the Grizzlies won as a team for the third straight year.

Academically, Cragg, who spent three years and six semesters at Leeds University in his home country prior to joining the Grizzlies in the fall of 2008, is a sixth-year graduate student in ASC's human performance and physical education (HPPE) program where he holds a 3.81 cumulative grade point average (GPA).

Cragg, now a 7-team USTFCCCA All-American for the Grizzlies, also earned First Team ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America) All-America honors after the 2010 outdoor track & field season.

Birdsong earned his first all-America honor this fall, finishing first for the Grizzlies and placing fourth overall at the NCAA Division II Championships on Dec. 4 in Louisville, Ky.  An HPPE major at Adams State, Birdsong carries a cumulative 3.66 GPA and was named to the RMAC All-Academic Honor Roll for the 2009 cross country season, his first with ASC after transferring from the University of Texas for the fall of 2008.

Frederick ran in three meets for the Grizzlies this fall, earning his best team and overall finish at the New Mexico Highlands Cross Country Jam on Oct. 23, finishing eighth amongst ASC runners and 18th overall. A business administration major at Adams State, Frederick holds a 3.40 cumulative GPA.

Patterson, who transferred to ASC this fall after spending a year at Eastern Illinois University, placed 10th overall and was the sixth Grizzly at the New Mexico Highlands Cross Country Jam. He was also eighth for Adams State and 20th overall at the season-opening Joe I. Vigil Open on Sept. 11. Patterson is an HPPE major with a cumulative GPA of 3.42.

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