Three Spartans named All-Academic by USTFCCCA 02-09-2012

NEW ORLEANS, La. – UNCG's Paul Chelimo, Paul Katam and Joey Thompson were all named All-Academic by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA), the organization announced on Friday.

Oklahoma and Georgetown led the nation with four selections each, while UNCG, Oklahoma State and BYU all had three apiece.

To qualify for the USTFCCCA All-Academic Track and Field Team, the student-athlete must have compiled a cumulative grade point average of 3.25 and have either earned USTFCCCA All-America status or finished in the NCAA region's top 15 (or top 10 percent) in 2011.

Chelimo had a great season as he became the first Spartan to earn All-America honors at the NCAA Championship. The sophomore currently has a perfect 4.0 GPA in public health. He finished runner-up to earn all-region honors at the NCAA Southeast Regional and was named the SoCon Men's Runner of the Year after winning the SoCon individual title.

Katam also had a breakout year in his first season at UNCG by also earning all-region honors after coming in 15th place at the NCAA Southeast Regional. The redshirt freshman has a 3.41 GPA in pre-nursing and was named first-team All-SoCon this season.

Thompson finished in eighth place at the NCAA Southeast Regional to earn all-region accolades and was one of two runners nationally to earn an at-large bid to the NCAA Championships. At the Championships, he was awarded the Elite 89 award for having the highest GPA of any male runner at the championships. He currently has a 3.95 GPA in finance.

Ryan Hopkins from Davidson and Chris Berry from Chattanooga were the only other two representatives from the Southern Conference.

- UNCG -

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