Epstein and Team Awarded DI All-Academic Status

Liana Epstein (credit: Tim O'Dowd)
Liana Epstein (credit: Tim O'Dowd)

NEW HAVEN. Conn—This past Monday, the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association honored Yale women's cross country with the distinction of Division I Cross Country All-Academic status for the 2012 season. In addition, junior Liana Epstein was one of 115 All-Academic individual awardees. This marks the second year in a row Epstein has been named an honoree. The award is only given to those student-athletes with a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or better. In addition, they must have finished in the top 15 or top ten percent in the NCAA Division I Northeast Region Cross Country Championships this past November, or have been awarded All-America status by the USTFCCA. To qualify, Epstein finished 25th in the NCAA Northeast Regional. Her 6k time of 20:42.90 placed her in the top 10% of 253 finishers.

Epstein was a consistent standout in the 2012 cross country season. Besides winning the team's dual meet with Harvard in September, Epstein was named to the All-Ivy second team for her 11th place finish at the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships in October. In addition to All-Academic honors, she was named to the All-Northeast team for her performance in the NCAA Northeast Regional shortly after the meet's conclusion. Epstein is from Springfield, Va., and a member of Jonathan Edwards College.

Meanwhile, the Yale cross country team earned one of the 200 All-Academic titles awarded this year to DI teams. The Bulldogs had a cumulative grade point average of 3.58. This impressive number was the highest average GPA of the seven Ivy League teams named, and one of the top 10 highest grade point averages for all teams. In order to earn the honor, the team's cumulative GPA had to be above 3.00 and at least five athletes had to start at the NCAA regional championship meet. This year, in addition to Epstein, seven Bulldogs competed in the meet—sophomore Anna Demaree, sophomore Kira Garry, senior Caitlin Hudson, senior Nihal Kayali, senior Elizabeth Marvin, and freshman Emily Stark. All seven Bulldogs finished ahead more than half of the field, earning the team 7th place of 37 teams.

Report by Maria Seravalli 16', Yale Sports Publicity