Lady Miners post highest cumulative grade point average in nation.
Missouri S&T's women's track & field team posted the highest cumulative grade point average for the 2012-13 season in NCAA Division II to head a group of 92 institutions receiving all-academic laurels from the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
The Lady Miners as a squad had a cumulative grade point average of 3.66, which put it ahead of Edinboro University on the overall list. S&T was one of three schools from the Great Lakes Valley Conference among the top ten on the women's side, as Maryville University was third and the University of Southern Indiana was eighth.
"This is obviously a great honor for our program," said Missouri S&T head coach Sterling Martin. "One thing we stress in recruiting is to bring in talented student-athletes that are also able to perform well in the classroom. These individuals take a lot of pride in excelling in both regards and as a result, we had an outstanding year from that standpoint."
Missouri S&T's men's team also earned a team award – which goes to schools with a 3.0 or better average – as it finished with a 3.14 cumulative average and as one of four GLVC schools among the 42 institutions honored.
On an individual basis, the Lady Miners had three members of their team earn All-Academic honors from the USTFCCCA. The three named were all pole vaulters - Taylor Cipicchio (Highland, Ill./Highland), Molly Clement (Souderten, Pa./Souderten) and Rachel Ederle (St. Louis, Mo./Affton).
Cipicchio won the GLVC outdoor championship in the pole vault by going over the bar at 11-8, leading a 1-2-3 finish for the Lady Miners in the event with her aforementioned teammates. Clement took second at the outdoor meet while Ederle, the third place finisher, broke the school record in the indoor pole vault during that season with a clearance of 11-9 3/4.
Ederle and Clement, both mechanical engineering majors at Missouri S&T, tied for second at the GLVC's indoor meet in the event while Cipicchio, a mathematics education major, finished fourth. All three individuals earned All-GLVC honors during the 2013 season.
A total of 384 women representing 92 institutions received the honors from the national organization, where student-athletes must have a 3.25 or better grade point average and have reached either a provisional or automatic qualifying standard for the NCAA Division II Championships – either the indoor or outdoor meet – during that season.
Missouri S&T also had two representatives of its men's team make the All-Academic squad in Adriel Hawkins (Jefferson City, Mo./Jefferson City) and Joseph Vellella (Piasa, Ill./Southwestern). Hawkins, an engineering management major who earned a berth to the NCAA Division II Indoor Championships, made qualifying marks in the 200-meters during both the indoor and outdoor seasons and also reached one in the indoor triple jump. He was the GLVC runner-up in the outdoor 200-meters and indoor triple jump, earning All-GLVC honors for both seasons.
Vellella, a chemical engineering major, made a provisional mark in the hammer throw of 180-9 after setting a school record in the indoor weight throw at 55-10 earlier in the season. He finished second in the hammer at the GLVC Outdoor Championships and earned second-team all-conference honors as a result.