News - Panthers on the Prowl: Cross Country's Long History of Athletic and Academic Excellence

Panthers on the Prowl: Cross Country's Long History of Athletic and Academic Excellence

Panthers on the Prowl: Cross Country's Long History of Athletic and Academic Excellence

Greenville College athletes are making their presence known; both on the field and in the classroom. As Panther Athletics continues to reach major milestones in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC), their success is mirrored in their academic achievements.

For the fall 2009 season, 25 student-athletes from Greenville College received SLIAC Academic All-Conference awards. These awards are announced three times per year, for the fall, winter and spring sports seasons. Athletes are eligible in the season they participate, and must meet four specific criteria. One, they must have a minimum 3.5 cumulative grade point average. Two, the athlete must be of at least sophomore academic standing. Three, they must attend at least one full year at the institution prior to receiving the award. And four, they must be a member of a varsity roster. Panther athletes rise to this challenge year after year.   

The GC cross country teams boast a long history of success. The women have attained 14 SLIAC conference championships in the last 15 years, with the men following close behind with 11 of their own titles. On top of their 14th title win, the women secured seven spots on the Academic All-Conference Team. If this accomplishment were not enough, this season the women were considered for an Academic All-American Team award in NCAA Division 3 for the 12th straight year.

Head Coach Brian Patton attributes this success to the character of his athletes. "Two elements that I believe make any student-athlete successful in the classroom include both consistency and self-discipline," states Patton. "As a matter of fact, I believe both elements are transferable to all other areas of life. We have student-athletes that are consistent and self-disciplined in our sport. They get their workouts in, they sleep and eat properly, they make sacrifices others are unwilling to make, and they do it on a daily basis. They then take those strengths they have developed in sport and apply them in the classroom, or in their journey of faith."

This commitment to excellence is what drives their success year after year. Senior leadership, along with a team tradition of dedication and hard work, will enable this program to achieve numerous accomplishments in the many seasons to come.

This story was published on March 07, 2010

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