SALEM, ORE. -- Six members of the Willamette University women's cross country team have received All-Academic recognition from the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) for the 2014 season. All six runners competed for the Bearcats at the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships.
Overall, 325 student-athletes from Division III were chosen for the Womens All-Academic Team. Each All-Academic competitor was honored for achieving a cumulative grade point average of 3.30 or higher, while finishing in the top 25% at an NCAA Regional cross country meet.
Receiving All-Academic status from the Willamette women's team were Hannah Bressler (Jr., Oak Harbor, WA/Oak Harbor HS), Juliet Farnan (Jr., Lafayette, CA/Campolindo HS), Michaela Freeby (Sr., Milwaukie, OR/Rex Putnam HS), Olivia Mancl (So., Seattle, WA/Roosevelt HS), Taylor Ostrander (Jr., Kenai, AK/Kenai Central HS) and Alyssa Reese (Fr., Louisville, CO/Monarch HS).
Freeby also received All-Academic honors in 2012 and 2013. Mancl and Ostrander were All-Academic selections in 2013.
Bressler and Ostrander are majoring in Exercise Science, while Freeby and Mancl are Biology majors. Farnan is majoring in Psychology, and Reese has not yet declared a major.
The Bearcats finished in 15th place in the women's team standings at the NCAA Championships in Mason, Ohio. Mancl led the way by placing 48th out of 280 runners. Ostrander placed 64th. Bressler finished in 132nd, with Farnan in 152nd and Freeby in 169th.
Freeby, who spent the cross country season recovering from an injury sustained during the the 2014 track and field season, still managed to earn second place at the 2014 NCAA West Regional, hosted by WU at Bush's Pasture Park. She led a 2-3-5-9-12 finish for the Bearcats.
Also at the West Region, Mancl took third place and Ostrander was fifth. Farnan attained ninth place, while Bressler was 12th and Reese placed 24th. All six runners received All-West Region honors while leading the Bearcats to the team title.
Ostrander won the women's individual title in 22:25.2 and helped WU claim the team title at the 2014 NWC Championships. The Bearcats achieved a nearly-perfect 1-2-3-4-6 finish. Mancl took second place, but matched Ostrander's time at 22:25.2. Freeby was third in 22:25.3. Farnan placed fourth, Bressler was sixth and Reese was 17th.
The NWC Championships were hosted by the Bearcats at Bush's Pasture Park. It was Willamette's 10th NWC Championship in women's cross country. Ostander, Mancl, Freeby, Farnan and Bressler each earned First Team All-Northwest Conference honors.
The USTFCCCA also announced the Cross Country Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award winners, which went to the women's athlete and the men's athlete and who placed highest at the 2014 NCAA Championships and also qualified for All-Academic status.
Amy Regan, a junior at Stevens Institute of Technology (N.J.) with a 4.00 cumulative GPA was named the Women's Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Regan, who is majoring in Engineering Management, won the NCAA women's individual national cross country title.
Grant Wintheiser, a senior from St. Olaf University (Minn.), who owns a with a 3.98 cumulative GPA, was named the Men's Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Wintheiser is majoring in Biology. He won the NCAA men's individual national cross country title.