Team, Dooney Earn USTFCCCA Academic Honors

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Kevin Dooney. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

NEW HAVEN, Conn.—The U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) released its 2013 Division I NCAA Cross Country All-Academic Award recipients on Monday, naming the Yale men's cross country squad an All-Academic team and sophomore standout Kevin Dooney an individual All-Academic honoree.

The Bulldogs were one of 160 men's cross country teams nationwide to be given All-Academic honors. The team's cumulative GPA was an impressive 3.41, tied for the 26th-highest GPA in the nation and the fourth-highest in the Ivy League. The Elis were one of seven Ivy League teams to receive the award.

Dooney—a native of Dublin, Ireland—was one of five Ivy League student-athletes (and one of just 72 student-athletes nationwide) to be named an individual Cross Country All-Academic honoree.

In addition to excelling in the classroom, Dooney also put together one of the best cross country seasons by a Yale runner in school history, despite entering the season with some lingering injury issues. He became just the sixth Yale runner since 1991 to qualify for the Division I NCAA Cross Country Championships, finishing the 10K race in 98th place in a field of more than 250 runners. His time of 31:18.5 marked the fastest Nationals race recorded by a Yale runner since Lucas Meyer '05 back in 2003.

Dooney followed up on his strong performance at Nationals in November by representing Ireland at the European Cross Country Championships in December, running on Ireland's U-23 squad. He finished third out of the six runners on the Irish team and helped Ireland register a fourth-place overall team finish in the U-23 race.

Other highlights from Dooney's remarkable sophomore campaign include an 11th-place overall finish at the Division I NCAA Northeast Regional Championships, an eighth-place overall finish at the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships and first-place team finishes at the Pre-National Invitational and Paul Short Invitational. He also secured both All-Region and second team All-Ivy honors and took home the Mike Stanley-John Cleary Class of 1954 Men's Cross Country Award, given annually to "the outstanding member of the Yale men's cross country team who excels in Dedication, Commitment, and Inspiration to the sport of cross country."

The USTFCCCA states that to "qualify as a USTFCCCA All-Academic Cross Country Team, the team must have had a cumulative team GPA of 3.00 or better and have started at least five runners at their respective NCAA regional championship."

Meanwhile, individual All-Academic honorees "must have compiled a cumulative GPA or 3.25 or greater and must have finished as an All-American or among the 15 finishers (or 10 percent) in his regional meet," according the USTCCCA release.

Report by Zach Schloss '15, Yale Sports Publicity