Zag Track Programs Named All-Academic Teams

Five GU men’s runners earn All-Academic status

NEW ORLEANS – Five Gonzaga men's runners were named All-Academic individuals, and the Zag women's and men's track and field teams received academic team recognition from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Monday. Andrew Gardner, Yacine Guermali, Scott Kopczynski, Kellen Manley and Brandon Pollard earned USTFCCCA All-Academic status.

Gardner boasts a 3.80 GPA working on his Sport and Athletic Administration degree. At the NCAA West Preliminary Round in 3,000-meter steeplechase, he was 16th in his heat and 47th overall at 9:32.23. Gardner entered the quarterfinals seeded 12th. He ran the second-fastest time on the GU all-time list, 8:46.16, at the Cardinal Classic on April 20.

Guermali, a Business Administration major, has a 3.35 GPA. In the 5,000 meters at the NCAA West Prelims, he placed 16th overall and 15th in his heat at 14:06.39. Guermali was seeded 43rd in the 5,000 meters. The Vancouver, Wash. native, qualified at the Cardinal Classic on April 19, with a time of 14:02.64, which ranks fourth all-time at GU.

Kopczynski received the honor for the second straight season. He had a 3.75 GPA as a Computer Science major. He finished his junior season with a time of 3:50.91, placing eighth in his heat and 41st overall at the NCAA West Preliminaries. The Spokane native, qualified for this year's prelims with the fifth-fastest time in program history, 3:46.22, at the West Coast Invitational.

Manley is working on his Masters of Business Administration with a 3.26 GPA. He placed 10th in his heat, and 25th overall, in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 8:57.84. Manley returned to the NCAA West Preliminary Round for the third time, this time seeded 38th. The senior ran a personal record of 8:57.03 also at the Cardinal Classic. That time ranks third in Gonzaga history.

Pollard also received the honor for the second time. He is working on his Sport and Athletic Administration degree and has a 3.47 GPA. Pollard's successful career at GU came to an end at his second appearance at the NCAA West Preliminary Round in the 1,500 meters. He placed 19th overall and 11th in his heat with a time of 3:48.03. The redshirt senior became the first Zag to ever qualify for the national quarterfinals in the 1,500 meters. Pollard was seeded 19th with a time of 3:44.32. He qualified for this year's NCAA West Prelim at the West Coast Invitational. His seed time ranks second on the GU all-time list.

To qualify for USTFCCCA All-Academic honors, the student-athlete must have compiled a cumulative GPA of 3.25 and have met at least one of the following athletic standards: For the indoor season, a student-athlete must have finished the regular season ranked in the national top 96 in an individual event or ranked in the national top 48 (collective listing) in a relay event on the official NCAA POP list provided by For the outdoor season, a student-athlete must have participated in any round of the NCAA Division I Championships (including preliminary rounds).

One hundred and 39 men's programs earned All-Academic Team honors. The GU men ranked 15th among Div. I men's programs with a 3.40 team GPA, the third-best GPA on the west coast. On the women's side, 227 Div. I teams earned the honor. The Bulldogs' 3.58 GPA ranked 20th.

The women's program from South Dakota State had the highest cumulative GPA out of any NCAA DI program at 3.684. That narrowly topped the women from Lipscomb, who hauled in a cumulative team GPA of 3.676.

The men's program with the highest cumulative GPA was Harvard at 3.55.

Programs that stood out the most during competition also handled business in the classroom as the Florida men and Arkansas women were named both the Indoor and Outdoor Scholar Teams of the Year for their respective genders.

In order to be in contention for Scholar Team of the Year, a program must finish highly at the respective national championship meet and have at least a 3.00 cumulative team GPA.

Gonzaga Article Link