Sophomores Jacob Hadden and Bill Lester of the Oglethorpe men's cross country team received all-academic honors from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Thursday. It marked the first such career award for Lester and the second straight for Hadden.
Hadden became the first Stormy Petrel to qualify for the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships in 24 years. He finished 11th at the Division III South/Southeast regional meet in early November, earning All-Region honors in the process. He also became the first runner in program history to earn All-SAA first team accolades, finishing fifth at the SAA championships in late October. It marked his second consecutive All-SAA accolade.
Lester earned All-SAA honorable mention in 2018, marking the second straight season in which he earned that honor. He finished 11th at the SAA championships and 58th at the regional meet. He had an excellent 2018 season coming off winning SAA Newcomer of the Year honors in 2017.
"I'm extremely excited for both Jake and Bill," said Oglethorpe head coach Kirk Shellhouse. "This is a prestigious honor and these two are richly deserving student-athletes. They both had outstanding falls in the classroom and on the course, and I'm excited to see what the future brings as we continue the track and field season and then move forward into next cross country season."
In order to be eligible for USTFCCCA all-academic honors, a cross country student-athlete must have at least a 3.3 cumulative GPA through the end of the fall semester of competition and finish in the top 25 percent of the field at their NCAA regional meet. Hadden and Lester were two of 682 student-athletes, counting both men and women, to earn 2018 cross country all-academic honors from the organization.