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Track & field program among leaders in classroom

10 Dec 2021 | 07:59 | Track & Field

NEW ORLEANS, La. – The Montana track & field program continues to excel in the classroom, once again earning USTFCCCA All-Academic Team honors. The women, with a 3.56 cumulative team grade-point average, received recognition for the 12th consecutive season dating back to 2009 (there was no award in 2020), while the men were recognized for the sixth consecutive season, after never before reaching the threshold prior to 2015. The men held a 3.37 grade-point average during the 2020-21 academic year.

In order to receive the distinction, teams must obtain a cumulative GPA above 3.0 for all student-athletes on roster.

In addition to the team awards, six individuals were recognized as the top of their class – both in the classroom and competition.

Montana’s Kimberly Earhart (business administration), Cade Johnstone (marketing), Dylan Kipp (health & human performance), Tanessa Morris (geosciences), Evan Todd (management & entrepreneurship) and Jansen Ziola (pharmacy) received the USTFCCCA All-Academic Athlete award.

The six selections are Montana’s most since 2017, and second-most on record. In order to be recognized, an athlete must have a 3.25 cumulative GPA or higher, plus have qualified for NCAA Regionals, or in the case of Ziola, be ranked among the nation’s top 48 athletes in a multi-event.

After setting a school record and winning the men’s 400 meters at the 2021 Big Sky Championships, Johnstone – just a sophomore – qualified for his first NCAA Regionals event in May. Kipp was one of the top collegiate javelin throwers in 2021, entering NCAA Regionals seeded 13th with the second-best throw in Montana history. Similarly, Todd was also among the nation’s top throwers, placing fourth at the Big Sky Championships and qualifying for NCAA Regionals, despite just being a freshman.

On the women’s side, Earhart capped her senior season with an NCAA Regionals qualification, while Morris won a Big Sky title in the hammer throw, currently ranked No. 2 in Montana history in the event entering her senior season. Ziola was one of Montana’s top point-scorers at the Big Sky Championships, scoring in three events during her sophomore season, including a runner-up finish in the heptathlon.

Earlier this month, 128 student-athletes earned Academic All-Big Sky Conference recognition across the indoor and outdoor seasons.