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Cross Country Athletes Named Academic All-Americans

The Gadsden State Community College Cross Country Team continues a long-standing tradition of having teams that are outstanding on the field, as well as, in the classroom. Four members of the cross country team were named Academic All-Americans by the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCCA) Cross Country coaches. Allie Blackstone of Glencoe, Sarah Burke of Anniston, Megan Ivey of Ashville and Sarah Wiedeman of Alexandria will represent the Lady Cardinals on the All-American Team.

Being a cross country athlete and excelling in the classroom both require self-discipline and perseverance. Cross Country Coach Jim Pitchford said, “We have been very fortunate to have athletes who have excelled in academics and in the sport over the years.” Gadsden State ranked 6th in the nation with a cumulative GPA of 3.747 during the fall semester of 2009. The team has continually climbed the ranks in position throughout the past three years. The 2007 team was 12th in the nation with a 3.389 GPA with three being named Academic All-Americans. The 2008 team compiled an average GPA of 3.423, which ranked them 10th in the nation with five players named to the NJCCA All-American Team.

The Cardinal team continued their excellence in athletics by winning the Alabama Community College Conference Region XXII State Championship and competed at the national tournament in Peoria, Illinois. In addition to these honors, Pitchford was named Alabama Community College Conference Coach of the Year in 2009.

Burke, a repeat All-American, will soon graduate but Blackstone, Ivey and Weideman will be eligible to return next year. Pitchford is actively recruiting for next season. For more information about the Cardinal cross country team please contact Coach Jim Pitchford at

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