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NEW ORLEANS, La. – The Virginia men’s and women’s cross country teams have been honored as a 2009 NCAA Division I USTFCCCA All-Academic Team, as announced by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. Junior All-American Catherine White and sophomore Morgane Gay were also honored as USTFCCCA All-Academic honorees.

The 104 women’s USTFCCCA All-Academic individual honorees represent 57 schools around the country and include seven regional champions and three who finished in the nation’s top-10 at the 2009 NCAA Cross Country Championships. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must carry a minimum 3.25 cumulative grade point average and must finish among the top 15 finishers (or top 10 percent) of the field at their respective NCAA regional meet.

White, a biology major from Roanoke, Va., is among those seven regional champions and top-10 finishers at NCAAs. Finishing fourth overall at the national championships, White earned her first cross country All-America honor and became the highest individual finisher for the Cavaliers since Lesley Welch won the national title in 1982. She also won the 2009 NCAA Southeast Region Title – becoming the program’s first-ever individual regional champion – and earned Southeast Region Athlete of the Year honors for her accomplishments, another first for Virginia. At the ACC Championships, White finished runner-up to earn her first All-ACC honor.

Gay, hailing from Bethesda, Md., hasn’t declared a major yet. Finishing fourth at the ACC Championships, Gay earned all-conference honors, before garnering all-region honors with an eighth place finish at Regionals.

As a team, Virginia’s women’s squad was named an all-academic team for compiling an overall 3.39 team cumulative GPA. Finishing runner-up at the NCAA Southeast Regional Championships, the Cavaliers earned an automatic berth to the NCAA Championships for a second-straight season, where UVa finished 15th overall.

The Cavalier men were also honored as an all-academic team. Finishing fifth at regionals and 15th at nationals, Virginia compiled an overall 3.08 team cumulative GPA.

For a program to be considered for the USTFCCCA All-Academic Team award, it must have competed and compiled a team score at an NCAA Regional meet. The team must also have a minimum 3.00 team cumulative grade point average.

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