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Abbott Named to Division I All-Academic Team

Alyssa Abbott garnered Division I All-Academic honors by the USTFCCCA.

Alyssa Abbott garnered Division I All-Academic honors by the USTFCCCA.

March 4, 2009

SALT LAKE CITY - University of Utah cross country's Alyssa Abbott was named to the USTFCCCA Division I Scholar Athlete of the Year list on Monday. Only 77 Division I female student-athletes received the 2008 Cross Country All-Academic honor, representing 52 Division I institutions.

"I think this is a well-deserved honor for Alyssa," said head coach Kyle Kepler. "She is one of several on the team that is the epitome of student-athlete. She works hard at both to be successful. I am proud to be associated with such a quality student-athlete."

The award honors those student-athletes who have succeeded both academically and athletically. To be eligible, a student-athlete must carry a minimum 3.25 cumulative grade point average and must finish in the top 15 finishers (or top 10%) of the field at their respective NCAA regional meet or attain All-American status at the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships.

Abbott, a native to Reno, Nev., currently has a cumulative GPA of 3.83 and had a phenomenal finish at the 2008 Mountain Regional Meet. She finished ninth out of 127 athletes, garnering all-region accolades and qualifying for the 2008 National Cross Country Meet.

At the 2008 NCAA Cross Country Championship on Nov. 24 in Terre Haute, Ind., she finished the 6K race in 21:00.5 to earn 76th-place out of 255 women. Her time was a 14-second improvement from the pre-national meet there in October where she finished in 21:14.

After the first mile of the race, the Ute paced herself in the middle of the pack at about 180th-place. She clocked in at 6:49 at the 2K mark. At the 3K mark, Abbott advanced 100 spots as she found her power.

She was in 90th-place after 13 minutes and 52 seconds of competing and only had 2,000 meters to go. In the last 500 meters of the race, the Ute went from 84th in the pack, to a 76th-place finish. The only other Mountain West Conference contender that topped Abbott was Nicky Archer from New Mexico (56th, 20:53.0)



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