By Steve Lansdale
AUSTIN, Texas — When U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced its All-Academic team and Scholar teams, 18 Texas Longhorns appeared on the lists, headlined by thrower Ryan Crouser, who was named 2016 NCAA Division I Male Indoor Field Scholar Athlete of the Year as the top field event star and student of the 2015-16 school year.
Crouser won his fourth NCAA title at the NCAA Indoor Championships and tied the college shot put record with a throw of 21.73 meters (71 feet, 3.5 inches) at the Big 12 Championship.
He graduated with his Master’s degree in finance in the spring with a GPA of 3.70. His combined GPA for his undergraduate and graduate degrees was 3.47.
The other six members of the men’s team were sprinter Carlton Anumnu, sprinter Charles Anumnu, pole vaulter Parks McNeil, thrower Brian Peterson, pole vaulter Barrett Poth and distance specialist Brady Turnbull. Representing the women’s team were jumper Asa Garcia, hurdler/sprinter Melissa Gonzalez, distance specialist Mary Beth Hamilton, sprinter/hurdler Ariel Jones, sprinter/hurdler Ashley Miller, pole vaulter Shay Petty, thrower Shelby Poncik, distance specialist Sandie Raines, sprinter Racquel Tjernagel, pole vaulter Ali Uhle, jumper Georgia Wahl and combined events specialist Ashtin Zamzow.
To be eligible for team recognition, a team must earn a cumulative team GPA of 3.00 or higher. The Texas women boasted a team GPA of 3.21 this year.
Individuals must maintain a GPA of 3.25 or higher and have ranked among the top athletes in the nation in their respective event by either competing in any round of the NCAA Outdoor Championships or ranking in the top 96 nationally in an individual event or top 48 in a relay during the indoor season.