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April 18, 2024

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Spring Housing Guide

Cross Country looks to continue high GPA

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Kevin Mensah
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The Falcon men’s cross country team will come into the next season holding a cumulative GPA of over 3.7, the highest team GPA from fall 2016, as well as a few 4.0 GPA athletes to go along with it.

“Even in high school, they were high achievers in academics,” Falcon assistant coach Juan Carrillo said. “They bring the same commitment into college. I think it starts at the high school level, and going into college they continue doing that. Once you get recognition, it becomes something that you strive for.”

The team says that when they recruit runners, high academic achievement is something that they put a lot of emphasis on.

“We don’t recruit on athletic scholarships like other programs,” Carrillo said. “We tend to look at kids that have good GPAs and high test scores.”

The tendency of the team to have athletes with a lot of academic success has also become ingrained in the team’s reputation as well.

“It’s a part of our team environment at this point,” Falcon head coach Lou Snelling said. “When you come into this program, there’s a high expectation, and for a freshman, it’s nice to be around those academically successful athletes. I think it makes the freshmen better in the classroom, and again, it’s just a part of our expectations.”

“In general, it’s definitely a team effort,” Snelling said. “Obviously the student-athletes are the primary piece of that, but there’s a lot of support that they get from the staff and Student-Athlete Services.”

One of the 4.0 athletes is senior Nick Voth, who says that maintaining both academics and athletics has been a challenge.

“I’ve been managing my time as well as I can,” Voth said. “Obviously cross country is a really big time commitment, but as long as I know that I allow myself time to focus on school, study and do all the work that I need to, then I know that I’ll be successful in the classroom as well.”

Despite the team’s strong reputation, they don’t want to make being ranked the highest GPA in the nation the top priority.

“We try not to look at rankings too much,” Voth said. “But it’s always something in the back of our heads as our team goal to have the highest team GPA in the country, but we know that as long as we hold each other accountable and make sure everyone’s doing the best they can to be successful in the classroom, we’ll be fine. If we happen to get the highest team GPA in the country, that’s good, but we try not to look at that as much as people think we do.”

Junior Paul Garbarino also says that doing well in class also tends to translate to higher commitment while on the team.

“It’s not just that we want an extremely smart and intelligent team,” Garbarino said. “Intelligence is often a reflection of someone’s responsibility and character. The trends show that people with the highest GPAs stay on the team the longest, while the people that have had low GPAs didn’t end up staying on the team, not because they were slow, but because they were simply irresponsible.”

Garbarino also says that many athletes have other activities outside of both academics and athletics that they are a part of.

“We’re not just student-athletes that go to class and run,” Garbarino said. “We do a lot of stuff outside of those activities; we also do a lot of other clubs. I’m an Honors ambassador, Jon (Wenning) is an ambassador for the Business College, Kohl‘s (Taberner) the president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. So we do a lot of stuff, but we do end up making it work.”

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