RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Three Felician University women's cross-country student athletes – sophomores Hadeel Alshujaieh (Clifton, N.J./Clifton) and Shayla Morales (North Bergen, N.J./North Bergen) and freshman Ashley Linares (Passaic, N.J./Paramus Catholic) – have been named All-Academic Individuals for the 2019 season by the United States Track & Field and Cross-Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA), the USTFCCCA announced last Thursday.
Alshujaieh, Linares and Morales are the first three females in the 20-year history of Felician cross-country to earn the honor. Mike Secreti was a USTFCCCA All-Academic individual for the Golden Falcon men following the 2015 and 2016 campaigns.
In order to qualify for All-Academic distinction, NCAA Division II student-athletes must have a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.25 on a 4.00 scale and finish in the top 30 percent of the eligible number of runners in their respective regional championship meet. The 2019 D-II East Regional women's championship was held in Philadelphia, Pa., on Nov. 9. The East contains 36 women's teams, so 252 runners were eligible to compete.
Alshujaieh owns a 3.35 GPA as a pre-medicine major and placed 72nd at regionals. Linares, who has not declared a major course of study, maintains a 3.81 GPA and finished 33rd in the regional championship. Morales carries a 3.63 GPA while studying social & behavioral sciences. She crossed the line in 31st place at the regional meet.
A total of 403 women were honored nationally in D-II. Eight, including three from Thomas Jefferson University and two from Georgian Court University, represented the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference. A complete list can be viewed at http://www.ustfccca.org/2020/01/awards/2019-ncaa-division-ii-womens-cross-country-all-academic-athletes.
Adams State University sophomore Stephanie Cotter was named the 2019 USTFCCCA Women's Division II Cross-Country Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Cotter set a meet record while winning the individual title at the NCAA D-II National Championship meet and owns a 3.42 GPA.
Felician is led by second-year head coach Elson Smajlaj. The 2019 Golden Falcons were the runners-up in the CACC Championship meet then set a school record by finishing seventh at regionals.
Felician University engages more than 2,400 undergraduate, graduate, and adult students through programs in Arts & Sciences, Business, Nursing, and Education. Universal Franciscan values of respect, social justice, and compassion form an inclusive foundation for transforming the lives of tomorrow's leaders. Felician University was ranked 3rd-best return on investment for private colleges in New Jersey in 2018 by the PayScale.com College ROI Report and is ranked the No. 1 safest college campus in the state by niche.com. Felician University also sponsors 14 varsity intercollegiate sports that compete at the NCAA Division II level. To learn more about Felician University please visit www.felician.edu.