NEW ORLEANS - The Rice University women's cross country team earned U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Academic team honors, the association announced Thursday afternoon.
The women recorded a 3.69 GPA under head coach Jim Bevan. Overall, there were 431 teams that earned distinction from the USTFCCCA for their efforts both athletically and academically. Of those 431 teams, 242 were women's and 189 were men's. Teams need to meet a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) to be honored.
The Owls, who repeated as Conference USA champions, placed junior Abigail Cartwright (3.85 GPA), senior Katie Jensen (3.73 GPA), junior Elsa Racasan (3.98 GPA) and senior Cali Roper (3.75 GPA) on the USTFCCCA All-Academic list.
Cartwright, from Dallas, finished eighth overall at the NCAA South Central Regional following a 12th-place performance at the C-USA Championship. Cartwright, who majors in Civil Engineering, won two races during the cross country season and was twice named the C-USA Female Athlete of the Week.
Jensen, a native of The Woodlands, Texas, placed seventh at the NCAA South Central Regional and earned C-USA First-Team honors with a sixth place performance at the C-USA Championship. Jensen and Cartwright were also both named to the C-USA All-Academic Team back in November.
Racasan (France) and Roper (Conroe, Texas) each were named USTFCCCA All-Academic for a second straight year. Racasan finished 24th overall at the NCAA South Central Regional following a 10th place result at the C-USA Championship. The junior posted a 3.98 GPA while majoring in Kinesiology this past season.
On the heels of a fifth place finish at the C-USA Championship, Roper followed up that performance with a 10th place result at the NCAA South Central Regional. Roper is a Sports Management major and posted a 3.75 GPA during the season.
In order to qualify for an individual honor, student-athletes must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25 and finish in the top-25 (or 10 percent) at regionals or as an All-American at the national meet. In total, there were 265 athletes named USTFCCCA All-Academic with a lion's share of them women (168).