CHICAGO – Both University of Chicago cross country teams along with a group of 11 individual runners were recently recognized for their academic and athletic accomplishments with All-Academic Awards from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
Senior Khia Kurtenbach headlined the honors as she was named the 2017 USTFCCCA Division III Cross Country Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Kurtenbach won four of her seven races in a brilliant senior campaign. After victories at the University Athletic Association (UAA) Championship and the NCAA Midwest Regional, she claimed the individual national championship by a six-second margin. The USTFCCCA previously recognized her as the Women's National Athlete of the Year in cross country. Kurtenbach, a molecular engineering major, becomes the first UChicago athlete to earn this USTFCCCA academic honor.
Six of her women's teammates and four Maroon men earned All-Academic awards. Runners qualified for the award by finishing in the top 25 percent at an NCAA Regional race while maintaining a cumulative GPA of 3.30 or higher. Seniors Claire Costelloe, Kelsey Dunn and Cassidy McPherson all earned spots on the list. McPherson was a Second Team All-UAA selection after placing 14th at the conference championship, while Dunn claimed All-Region accolades after finishing 21st at the NCAA Midwest Regional. Joining these three were sophomores Maggie Boudreau and Claire Brockway, as well as first-year Abigail Shoemaker.
Senior Peter Kreuch, junior Jacob Gosselin, sophomore Ralph Patejunas, and first-year Jordan Olson claimed All-Academic honors on the men's side. Olson was a First Team All-UAA selection after finishing seventh at conference, and Patejunas placed 33rd in the Midwest to earn All-Region recognition.
UChicago was also honored for its team academic achievement, as measured in average GPA. The men posted a 3.64 mark, while the women came in at 3.62. Eligible teams must have compiled a team score at an NCAA Regional meet and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.10 on a 4.0 scale.