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Men's And Women's Cross Country Team Earns All-Academic Awards, Three Individuals Honored


Alissa McKaig and Michelle Rafferty.
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Men's And Women's Cross Country Team Earns All-Academic Awards, Three Individuals Honored

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Feb. 23, 2007

EAST LANSING, Mich. - The 2006 Michigan State men's and women's cross country teams were named All-Academic and three athletes received All-Academic individual accolades - Matt Bartlebaugh, Alissa McKaig and Michelle Rafferty - as was announced on Feb. 22, by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

"We make doing things well the baseline of our program in the classroom and in competitions," said associate head cross country coach Rita Arndt-Molis. "I am very proud of both of our teams."

To be named an All-Academic team, the group must compete in an NCAA Regional meet and have at least a cumulative team GPA of 3.0. A total of 86 men's teams and 145 women's teams were honored.

During the 2006 season, the men's team finished 17th at the NCAA Championships, fourth at the Great Lakes Regionals, and carried a cumulative 3.080 GPA, while the women completed the NCAA Championships in 12th place and were the top finisher at the Regional race. The team holds a 3.281 GPA.

"Our team's commitment to excellence both in the classroom and the field is a testament to how hard these teams worked this year," Arndt-Molis said.

Individuals who have a cumulative 3.25 GPA and placed in the top 15, or top 10 percent of an NCAA regional meet are eligible for individual recognition.

Bartlebaugh, a senior and four-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree, earned the individual All-Academic award for the first time in his Spartan career. Bartlebaugh finished 21st (31:47.73) at the Great Lakes Regional Championships and 103rd (32:38.0) at the NCAA Championships. He was one of 50 that earned individual honors for the 2006 cross country season.


"Matt (Bartlebaugh) is an outstanding leader for our men's cross country program," Arndt-Molis said. "His hard work this season is a huge success for him. He works harder than any other person on the team both athletically and academically."

The Green and White's top female finisher at the NCAA Championships (10th, 21:06.7), sophomore McKaig, also ended her sophomore season with an individual academic award. McKaig finished the Great Lakes Regional in second place (21:00.26) and earned All-American and Great Lakes All-Region honors this season.

"She has really come into this program with a bang and been a highlight at all of our meets, and now in the classroom also," Arndt-Molis said. "We look forward to seeing her grow as a leader of this team."

Three-time Academic All-Big Ten winner Rafferty was the second female named All-Academic. The senior finished in 33rd at the NCAA Championships (21:23.1), earning All-American accolades. She also finished seventh at the Great Lakes Regional Championships (21:03.59).

"Michelle (Rafferty) is in an elite class academically," Arndt-Molis said. "This is another great accomplishment for her as her Michigan State cross country career comes to an end."

Seventy-six women were named All-Academic for the 2006 season.

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