July 26, 2018
NEW ORLEANS - The Vanderbilt women's track & field team has earned several All-Academic honors from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) due to exceptional performance in the classroom during the 2017-18 season.
Commodore pole vaulters Kristen Denk, Caleigh Lofstead and Margaret Ollinger garnered USTFCCCA individual All-Academic recognition while the Vanderbilt squad was honored by its outstanding cumulative GPA.
Head coach Steve Keith's squad was recognized after producing a cumulative GPA of 3.56 in 2017-18. The Commodores' cumulative GPA ranked No. 1 in the Southeastern Conference and among the nation's Top 20 in the GPA.
"I continue to be impressed with the level of academic achievement from the student-athletes in our program. They come to Vanderbilt to compete at the highest levels, both in athletics and in academics. These honors reflect their commitment to succeeding in all areas during their time as Vanderbilt student-athletes. I'm happy for Kristen, Caleigh, Margaret and our entire program," Keith said.
Denk, Lofstead and Ollinger competed at a high level in 2017-18. Each advanced to NCAA regional postseason meets and ended the year ranked among the highest vaulters in Commodore history.
Denk was sensational in her first year competing for the Commodores. A rising junior from North Royalton, Ohio, Denk earned second team All-American honors with a 12th place finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Oregon. She also notched top-five individual finishes at the SEC indoor and outdoor championships, and established a new Vanderbilt outdoor standard by clearing 14-1.25 (4.30 meters) at the Tennessee Relays in April.
Lofstead, from Camas, Wash., and Ollinger, from Fairhope, Ala., also established collegiate personal bests during the season.
To qualify for individual USTFCCCA All-Academic honors, student-athletes must earn a cumulative GPA of 3.25 and meet at least one of two athletic standards:
• Finish the indoor regular season ranked in the national top 96 in an individual event or ranked in the national top 48 (collective listing) in a relay event on the official NCAA POP list provided by TFRRS.org.
• For the outdoor season, a student-athlete must have participated in any round of the NCAA Division I Championships (including preliminary rounds).
Check here for a full list of USTFCCCA honorees.