NEW ORLEANS – The Georgia College & State University women’s cross country team put six runners on the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) National All-Academic Team, the organization announced recently. Georgia College was one of just eight schools in the country with six players on the list.
Four seniors, a junior and a sophomore earned the distinction from Georgia College. Seniors Heather Raines (Lawrenceville, Ga.), Bonnie Nikelin (Blairsville, Ga.), Alycia Hayes (Cumming, Ga.) and Virginia Balkcom (Fayetteville, Ga.) joined junior Dani Destiche (Snellville, Ga.) and sophomore Victoria Dobson (New Hamburg, Ontario) on the list.
To qualify for All-Academic honors, a student-athlete must have completed at least 12 semester/quarter hours through the semester of competition at the institution. The student-athlete must have at least a 3.25 cumulative grade point average and have placed in the top 30 percent of the total number of athletes eligible to compete at the respective regional championships or have placed in the top 50 percent of the field at the NCAA Division II Cross Country Championships.
Balkcom and Hayes are exercise science majors and Destiche majors in outdoor education. Dobson has English literature as a major, while Raines is public relations and Nikelin physical education.
The GCSU Department of Athletics, winners of the 2008-09 PBC Commissioner's Cup, sponsors 10 varsity athletic programs at the NCAA Division II level. As a Division II program, GCSU prides itself on balancing the life of the student-athlete, evidenced by the Bobcats' multiple appearances in post-season competition as well as documented academic success and community-service involvement. Sign up at Twitter.com username GCSUSID for up-to-the-minute reports, and visit www.GCSUBobcats.com to nominate your favorite former Bobcats and Colonials to the GCSU Athletics Hall of Fame.