OC women’s cross country squad named as NCCAA Scholar Team

Sophomore Jacqueline Hallam helped OC's women's cross country team earn NCCAA Scholar Team status.
Sophomore Jacqueline Hallam helped OC's women's cross country team earn NCCAA Scholar Team status.

GREENVILLE, S.C. (Feb. 4, 2013) – Oklahoma Christian’s women’s cross country team was one of 62 squads honored Monday by the National Christian College Athletic Association with the Scholar Team Award.

To qualify for the NCCAA honor, a team must have at least a combined 3.40 grade-point average on a 4.0 scale. The Lady Eagles’ first-semester team GPA was a 3.535, tops among OC’s six teams that compete during the fall season.

The team GPA includes all varsity student-athletes certified as eligible. OC’s women’s cross country team consists of freshmen Cassandra Hallam, Tara Lewis and Maria Sargent and sophomores Jacqueline Hallam, Noemi Hernandez and Tavia Hoheisel.

It’s the seventh time in the program’s history – and the sixth straight year – that OC’s women’s cross country squad has earned a Scholar Team designation. In 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011, the Lady Eagles were named as an NAIA Scholar Team. Only once, in 2007, have the Lady Eagles recorded a higher team GPA than during this past semester.

Of the 62 fall-sport teams (men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s soccer and men’s and women’s golf) who qualified for the NCCAA honor, 22 of them were women’s cross country squads. The Lady Eagles’ GPA ranked 13th among those 22 teams.

The Lady Eagles weren’t able to compete as a team at the NCCAA Championships in Cedarville, Ohio, in November, because one runner was sick and another was injured, leaving OC one runner short of fielding a minimum lineup. Still, Lewis (43rd) and Hernandez (94th) posted top-100 individual finishes in the 255-woman field.