NEW ORLEANS – Oregon Tech's Mark French and Cindy Reed weren't just outstanding on the course and in the classroom this past season; they made history.
The duo was named the NAIA Male and Female Scholar Athletes of the Year, announced the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA), marking the first such honors for the NAIA.
A total of 170 athletes – 103 women and 67 men – earned the honors, while 23 of those athletes posted a perfect 4.00 grade point average.
The individual All-Academic honor was awarded to those athletes who have compiled a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.25 in addition to competing at the NAIA Cross Country Championships.
French finished eighth at the NAIA Cross Country National Championships in Vancouver, Washington, with a time of 24:48. He kicked off his season with a victory at the Humboldt Invite on Sept. 9, one of his four top-10 finishes on the season prior to the championship meet. The sophomore from Tualatin, Oregon, placed fifth at the Cascade Collegiate Cross Country Championships.
Reed notched a sixth-place finish at the championship meet, recording a 17:39. Reed's top finish on the year came at the Cascade Collegiate Cross Country Championships, where she finished fourth.
During the 2017 campaign, the junior out of Klamath Falls, Oregon, finished in the top-10 in five of her six meets.
The Oregon Tech men's team of Mark French, Tim McPherson, Jack Roberts, Paul Wyatt and Henry Bingham all made the list. The Oregon Tech men and its 3.69 team grade point average led the Country.
The entire Oregon Tech Women's Cross Country team joined Reed on the All-Academic list, including Danielle De Castro, Jaime Evers, Annika Andersen, Mallory Ward, Heather Kristoff and Susie Garza.
The full list of student-athletes honored by the USTFCCCA can be found here.
Press release from Oregon Tech Sports Information & Curtis Akey, USTFCCCA