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July 28, 2016

NEW ORLEANS, LA. – The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced its academic honors for the 2016 indoor and outdoor track seasons Thursday afternoon. The South Carolina men’s and women’s programs earned All-Academic team distinction, and 11 individuals received separate recognition.

This marks the eighth-straight year that both programs earned the honor for Carolina. With a combined grade point average of 3.45, the Gamecock women led all conference rivals, and only Kentucky, Missouri and Tennessee were represented on both the men’s and women’s All-Academic teams. To qualify for the team distinction, a program must have a combined GPA of 3.0 or greater during the indoor and/or outdoor season.

Individually, seven women and four men made USTFCCCA’s list from Carolina. That number is up from six and one in 2015, respectively. For the men, Alexandre Asselin, Ryan Bermudez, Markus Leemet and Kaleb Zuidema made the list. This is Bermudez’s second-straight year on the list, while the other three are all first-timers. The men’s team’s cumulative GPA for the year was 3.11.

For the women, Erika Rucker earned her place on the USTFCCCA’s list for the fifth time, Sarah Graham for the third time and Shelby Freedman for the second time. The first-timers were Ahtyana Johnson, Maya Evans and freshmen Aliyah Abrams and Funlayo Oluwole.

To qualify for the USTFCCCA All-Academic Track and Field Team, the student-athlete must have compiled a cumulative grade point average of 3.25 and have met either of the following athletic standards: for the indoor season, a student-athlete must have finished the regular season ranked in the national top 96 in an individual event or ranked in the national top 48 (collective listing) in a relay event on the official NCAA POP list provided by; for the outdoor season, a student-athlete must have participated in any round of the NCAA Division I Championships (including preliminary rounds).