NEW ORLEANS – For the first time in program history, both the men's and women's track and field teams at American University earned USTFCCCA (U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association) All-Academic team awards for the outdoor track season. A pair of individuals also earned All-Academic accolades from the USTFCCCA, as junior Matthew Rainey and senior Brianna Belo each received awards for their work in the classroom.
USTFCCCA All-Academic honors are given to individual student-athletes who hold a minimum GPA of 3.25 and finished the indoor season ranked in the top 96 in any championship individual event, or participated in any round of the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Team awards are given to those programs that have a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher.
Rainey became the first AU male student-athlete to be recognized by the USTFCCCA since 2012 when John Pope earned an All-Academic award during the cross country season. Rainey, a communication, law, economics, government major, who earned Academic All-Patriot League honors during both the cross country and indoor track seasons this past year, closed his spring semester with a 3.83 GPA.
Rainey qualified for the NCAA Championships East Preliminary Round in the 1,500-meter run after hitting the sixth-fastest time in AU history at the George Mason Spring Invitational (3:45.70).
Belo closed her track career at AU with a historic outdoor season, breaking her own program record in the 800 (2:07.52) to qualify for the East Preliminary Round before earning her third Patriot League title in the event with a 2:07.79 crossing. She made history once again at the NCAA Preliminary Round in Tampa, Fla., narrowly missing on advancing into the quarterfinal with yet another school-record finish in 2:07.06.
The public health major earned a 3.58 GPA in the spring semester and will remain at American to pursue an M.S. in health promotion.
The women's team broke the department record for single-semester GPA this spring with an impressive 3.76 average. They closed the year with a 3.56 cumulative GPA, while the men earned a 3.27 cumulative GPA to qualify for the All-Academic Team award.
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