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Scholar Trojans

NEW ORLEANS, La. — The USTFCCCA recently named the Scholar Athletes of the Year and the men’s 2009 Division I All-Academic Track and Field team, with Troy University junior Burke Leonce earning a spot on the All-Academic team.

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 met either the NCAA Division I Indoor automatic or provisional qualifying standard or the NCAA Division I Outdoor regional or national qualifying standard in their respective event.

Leonce, a junior from Castries, St. Lucia, earned the honor while majoring in Environmental Science and running on the 4×100-meter relay team that qualified for the NCAA Mideast Region during the outdoor season.

He was also the lone representative from a Sun Belt Conference member institution to make the All-Academic Team.

The honor is the third such honor for the Troy University track and field/cross country programs, as in the fall both the men’s and women’s cross country teams were named an All-Academic Team by the USTFCCCA.

This spring, the men’s track and field team narrowly missed the team, missing by just .02; while the women’s teams will be named later this week.

The University of Nebraska led all institutions with 16 student-athletes on the All-Academic Team, followed by Brigham Young University with 12 student-athletes and the University of Oregon with 11 total named to the team.

The Big 12 Conference led all conferences with 46 selections, with the Pac-10 following closely with 42 and the Mountain West Conference with 28 selections.

The USTFCCCA honors Division I individuals for their academic and athletic achievements during the indoor and outdoor track and field season.

The USTFCCA announced Wednesday that 130 teams were honored as an All-Academic Team for their performance in the classroom during the 2008-09 academic season, including the Troy University women’s track and field program.

Troy recorded a team grade point average of 3.164 to earn the honor, the third such team honor for the Trojans’ cross country/track and field program. The Trojans were one of only two teams from the Sun Belt Conference to earn the honor, with North Texas also winning an award.

The University of Tennessee Chattanooga led all institutions with a 3.550 team cumulative GPA, followed by Butler University with a 3.547 team GPA.

The Big East led all conferences with ten teams selected as All-Academic Teams for 2009 – DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Rutgers, St. John’s, Cincinnati, Louisville, South Florida, Villanova, and West Virginia.

The Big 12 Conference was a close second with eight teams selected to the list. The Atlantic Coast Conference and the Mid-American Conference each had seven teams selected as All-Academic Track and Field Teams.

The selection of the All-Academic Indoor and Outdoor Scholar Teams of the Year award is based on a combination of academic and athletic achievements, with the top honor going to the team that had the combination of best overall finish at the respective Division I Indoor or Outdoor National Championships and cumulative GPA.

The University of Tennessee (indoor season) and Arizona State University (outdoor season) each won the Scholar Team of the Year Award this season.

To be nominated, the team must carry a minimum 3.000 cumulative grade-point average.