NEW ORLEANS, La.—Charlene Charles, Bienna Freeman, and Kree Clark garnered U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Academic honors for their work in the classroom as well as on the track. In addition, the Dolphin team received USTFCCCA All-Academic honors for the 12th consecutive year.
Charles capped off her Dolphin career with a stellar senior season. The communications major with a 3.83 grade-point average helped lead JU to its eighth straight indoor and outdoor Atlantic Sun title. She earned Most Outstanding Field Performer honors during the indoor season and became the first athlete in A-Sun history to win the long jump three times. She also qualified for the 2013 NCAA Indoor Championships.
Freeman rewrote the JU record books throughout her final season as a Dolphin. In addition to posting a 3.54 GPA in exercise science, Freeman shattered the school record in the 800m with a time of 2:04.08. She won the A-Sun title in the event for the third consecutive year and advanced to the NCAA Outdoor Championships where she finished 10th overall en route to Second Team All-American honors.
Clark had a break out year as a thrower for JU. The freshman finance major (3.82 GPA) shattered the school record for the discus with a throw of 167-6 feet. Her record setting performances were not over as she would go on to break the conference championship record by over four meters.
"We are proud of Kree, Charlene, and Bienna for showing they can combine competing at the highest level with academic achievement at the highest level,” said Dolphin head coach Ron Grigg.
The Dolphins 3.38 team GPA earned them USTFCCCA honors for an impressive 12 straight year. JU was one of five A-Sun programs to receive the national honor.
“The team award and the consistency with which we have earned it is a testament to the philosophy of our university, our athletic department and our track program,” said Grigg. “The opportunities for great success exist for those willing to put in the hard work. Academic emphasis, support, and achievement are not just lip service or a recruiting pitch. They are at the core of what we do as we are given a great opportunity to work in sport within a university setting. Team championships receive a lot of recognition, and we are proud of those accomplishments, but consistently achieving this award is far more important in the big picture and we should be proudest of the team for this accomplishment.”
The Dolphins were also recognized for having both the cross country and track and field programs in the top 10% nationally for APR score.