Written by Sean Dahlin and Jeff Brown
YORK, Pa.—For the first time in Southern Virginia University athletics history, nine scholar-athletes from the men's and women's cross country squad were named today to the 2012-13 Capital Athletic Conference All-Academic Team.
Southern Virginia, which competed in the 2012 CAC Cross Country Championship and will join the conference as a fulltime conference-member on July 1, led all eight institutions with 52.9 percent of its eligible cross country scholar-athletes qualifying for the All-Academic Team.
St. Mary's College was next on the list, placing 49.2-percent of its athletes from the Seahawks' 17 varsity programs on the All-Academic squad.
"It's exciting to have nine of my runners being recognized for their academic excellence by the CAC," said second-year Head Coach Logan Davis. "I'm also proud to see that we have the highest percentage of honorees in the conference."
To be eligible for CAC All-Academic honors, one must have attained a 3.20-plus grade point average throughout 2012-13. This academic year, 826 individual scholar-athletes were recognized within the CAC.
Sophomore men's and women's cross country runners Patrick Gonzalez (Riverside, Calif.) and Leah Huber (Castle Rock, Colo.) headlined the Southern Virginia selections as both earned Capital One Academic All-District First Team accolades less than a month ago respectively.
Gonzalez had a standout 2012 season for the Knights highlighted by a third-place finish overall on Nov. 9, 2012, in the USCAA Men's Cross Country National Championship 8K-race garnering him All-American First Team honors.
He also became the first Southern Virginia scholar-athlete to earn CAC All-Conference honors after finishing 8th overall in the CAC Cross Country Championship meet, good enough for a spot on the All-Conference Second Team.
In her sophomore campaign, Huber helped women's cross country to its second consecutive USCAA National Championship with a 10th place finish in the race and her second straight USCAA All-American nomination in as many years.
In addition to being named a USCAA All-Academic member, Huber was also honored on the All-Conference Second Team after finishing 13th in the CAC Cross Country Championship meet thanks to a 25:27.56 time in the 6K race.
Joining Gonzalez and Huber to the CAC All-Academic Team are Southern Virginia women's cross country freshman Jacey Moore (Mesa, Ariz.) and sophomores Elle Dryden (Buena Vista, Va.), Desiree Gentry (St. George, Utah) and Shelbi Prince (Mexico, Mo.) along with men's cross country freshmen Benjamin Houldridge (North Bend, Wash.) and Spencer Long (Plano, Texas) and sophomore Dan Fotheringham (Salt Lake City, Utah).
During Moore's rookie year, she led the way for the Knights in the CAC Cross Country Championship meet with her season-best 6K-time (25:16.84) and 10th place finish, good enough for All-Conference Second Team honors in addition to the USCAA National Championship.
She was also named to the CAC Honor Roll during the week of Sep. 2, 2012.
Fotheringham and Prince were 2012 USCAA All-Academic selections while Houldridge was named to the CAC Honor Roll on Oct. 14, 2012.