April 11, 2006

W&L CROSS COUNTRY TEAMS EARN NATIONAL ALL-ACADEMIC HONORS

METAIRIE, La. -- The Washington and Lee men's and women's cross country teams were named to the 2005 United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) National Academic Team. Additionally, Nathan Johnson '05 (Lexington, Va./Rockbridge County) and freshman Michael Welsh (Tullahoma, Tenn./Tullahoma) were named to the men's National All-Academic team, while freshman Becca Taylor (Hamilton, Ohio/Edgewood) was named to the women's National All-Academic team.

The W&L men's team had an cumulative grade-point average (GPA) of 3.45, which was the fourth highest in the nation. The women's squad posted a 3.285 GPA. They were also the only ODAC schools to be honored. On the course, both teams won the Virginia State Division III and ODAC Championships for the second consecutive season in 2005.

Johnson, who graduated in December with degrees in mathematics and economics, was a two-time ODAC Cross Country Runner and Scholar-Athlete of the Year. He also won the ODAC Championship twice, while earning first team all-region honors both seasons. Additionally, Johnson also qualified twice for the NCAA Division III Championships, finishing 62nd out of 211 runners this past fall. He was also one of 58 student-athletes to receive an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.

Welsh, an undeclared major, earned First Team All-ODAC accolades with a fifth place finish at the 2005 ODAC Cross Country Championships. He also garnered First Team All-State honors by placing fourth at the Virginia State Division III Championships.

Taylor, an undeclared major, had the highest GPA of any cross country runner in the nation. She garnered First Team All-ODAC and All-State honors with fourth place finishes at both the ODAC Cross Country and Virginia State Division III Championships. On the track, Taylor was a member of the indoor distance medley relay team that ran an ODAC- and school-record time of 13:13.57.

--GENERALS--