NEW ORLEANS, La. - Lees-McRae College cross country/track and field senior Austin Thompson as well as the Lees-McRae men's cross country team were recently honored for their work in the classroom by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA), the organization announced back on Feb. 14.
649 student-athletes in total earned All-Academic honors, made up of 270 men and 379 women. In order to receive the honor, a student-athlete must own a cumulative 3.25 grade point average or higher, while also finishing in the top 30 percent of runners in either their respective regional meet or the national championships meet.
Thompson is a senior business major from Cleveland, Ga. Thompson closed out his career as a Bobcat with another stellar season. Of the eight races he competed in, Thompson posted four times that rank within the top 20 all-time times in the history of the program. Highlighting these performances was Thompson's run at the Royals Challenge where he ran the 8k course in 25:46.0, which was Thompson's fastest time of his career and was the third-fastest in the history of the program. Thompson was recognized by the league on three different occasions in 2018 raking in the league's Runner of the Week honor (Sept. 18), a spot on the All-Conference Carolinas Third Team and a place on the Academic All-Conference squad.
For teams to be honored, they had to have a cumulative grade point average of at least a 3.0 and also score at their respective regional meet. 427 total teams were honored with 196 men's teams and 231 women's teams. Lees-McRae earned a collective GPA of 3.29 under head coach Ley Fletcher. The men's cross country team finished second at the Conference Carolinas Championships for the third year in a row, while also finishing 12th at the NCAA Division II Southeast regional competition.