COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 27, 2016) – The Colorado State University-Pueblo men's cross country team was announced as a winner of the fourth annual Brechler Awards, released by the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Monday, which recognizes the conference's top team GPA in each of its 23 sports.
The award is named after Paul W. Brechler, a former RMAC Commissioner (1976-1990), who along with wife Wanda, were the first inductees into the RMAC Hall of Fame. Brechler is also the former athletic director of the University of Iowa and served as Commissioner of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC).
The ThunderWolves posted a 3.49 team GPA in 2015-16. The Pack were guided by Derrick Williams (So., Columbia Falls, Mont.), who was honored as RMAC Men's Cross Country Academic Runner of the Year and CoSIDA Academic All-America.
CSU-Pueblo also earned an academic team award from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA), while Williams, Marcelo Laguera (Fr., Chihuahua, Mexico) and Ben Vaughan (So., Great Falls, Mont.) were honored as individuals from the organization.
Grades were used from the 2015-16 academic year. All student-athletes that were on the institution's NCAA eligibility list were included in the team's GPA calculation. The team GPA was calculated by dividing the total quality points for each semester by the total number of credits for each semester. Team GPAs were submitted to the RMAC Office by each institution's compliance administrator.
Plaques for each team will be presented at the 2016 RMAC Hall of Fame and Awards Banquet Friday, July 8 at the Colorado Springs Marriott Hotel. Tickets for the event are available now.
CROSS COUNTRY IN 2015
Derrick Williams (So., Columbia Falls, Mont.) guided the men's team in 2015, as he earned a spot at the NCAA Division II Championships and crossed the finish line in 30:06.9 to place 14th in the 10K race to earn All-American honors. The sophomore finished in the top three at all four meets before the RMAC Championships, including two victories. He was 10th at the regional meet to earn a spot as an individual at the national championships.
The All-American honor was the first by a member of the Pack since 1979, while his time in the 10K established a new program record.
On the women's side, Bailey Hughes (Jr., Bigfork, Mont.) guided the ThunderWolves with four top five finishes and two meet victories. She was 10th at the RMAC Championships and finished 13th at the regional meet to earn a spot as an individual at the NCAA Division II Championships. She ran the 6K in 21:55.8 to place 71st among 247 runners.
Jordan Mathes (Jr., Boise, Idaho) recorded two top five finishes this season and one top 15 finish. She ran a season-best 23:01.5 6K at the NCAA South Central Region Championships to place 51st.
Both the men's and women's teams sent two athletes to the NCAA Championships in 2015. The appearance was the first for the men's team at the Division II level, while the last time a member of the women's team appeared at the national championships was 2007.
The Pack women finished sixth at the regional meet, while the men posted a 10th place finish.
Freshman Marcelo Laguera (Chihuahua, Mexico) also earned All-American status at the NCAA Championships. Five members of the teams were all-region, as Hughes and national qualifier sophomore Miriam Roberts (Boulder, Colo.) represented the women and Williams, Laguera and sophomore Ben Vaughn (Great Falls, Mont.) were honored for the men.
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As a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, Colorado State University – Pueblo competes in 22 varsity sports in NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletics.