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Rutgers Men’s Cross Country Earns BIG EAST Academic Excellence Award
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PISCATAWAY, N.J. (July 27, 2011) – The Rutgers men’s cross country program was once again recognized for its standout effort in the classroom, receiving the BIG EAST Team Academic Excellence Award, the league announced Wednesday.

“I think it’s great for our team and great for the University,” said Rutgers head men’s cross country and track & field coach Mike Mulqueen. “It’s a reflection on the academic support our team’s get at Rutgers and the pride the team members have in being student-athletes.”

Rutgers men’s cross country was honored by the U.S. Track and Field & Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) for the fourth-straight year with the All-Academic Team Award in February. In April, the program received public recognition from the NCAA for top academic performance for its multiyear Academic Progress Rate scores (1,000) for the fourth-consecutive year.

The men’s team compiled a cumulative grade point average of 3.10. The 2010 men’s cross country roster was comprised of Ben Forrest (Jackson, N.J.), Nick Miehe (Elmwood Park, N.J.), Kevin Cronin (Linwood, N.J.), Ben Horel (Belford, N.J.), Curtis Richburg (West Orange, N.J.), Ken Brady (Toms River, N.J.), Thomas Bragen (Point Pleasant, N.J.), Chris Banafato (Bridgewater, N.J.) and Steven Burkholder (Marlton, N.J.).

The BIG EAST Conference bestowed awards on 26 teams which were recognized for having the highest collective grade-point averages in each conference sport.

The winners were chosen based on the 2010-11 grade-point average of each student-athlete who appeared on an institution’s roster as of the last contest of the championship segment in each conference-sponsored sport.

Eleven BIG EAST schools had at least one team honored as DePaul finished with a conference-best five teams recognized. Notre Dame and Syracuse had four teams recognized, while Cincinnati, Georgetown, Louisville and St. John’s had two each. Rutgers, Seton Hall and West Virginia were represented by one team each.

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