NEW ORLEANS, La. (WLUC) – The Michigan Tech men's and women's track & field teams both earned postseason NCAA Division II team academic awards from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) on Monday. In addition, Liz Bloch, Emily Byrd, Emily Vigil, and Clayton Sayen received USTFCCCA All-Academic individual accolades.
The women's team finished with a combined grade-point average of 3.63, tying with McKendree and Truman State for the highest team GPA in the country. Meanwhile, the men's team combined for a 3.15 GPA to lead the GLIAC. In order for a team to be recognized as All-Academic, the combined GPA must be above 3.0.
A senior from St. Clair Shores, Michigan, Bloch was an All-American in the 1500m and the 800m. Bloch, a two-time GLIAC champion in the 1500m, received the GLIAC Spring Commissioner's Award and was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District Team with a 3.87 GPA as a biomedical engineering major.
A native of Perrysburg, Ohio, Byrd qualified as one of four Huskies for the 2019 NCAA Division II National Championships, finishing 14th in the 10,000m. Byrd had strong performances throughout the year in the 10,000m, finishing third in the 10,000m at the GLIAC Championships and setting a new school record at the Raleigh Relays. An All-American during the cross country season and a member of the GLIAC All-Academic Excellence Team, Byrd earned a 3.79 GPA as an environmental engineering major.
Vigil had a strong season competing in the distance events for the Huskies, finishing fourth in the 10,000m at the GLIAC Championships and taking first in the 5000m at the St. Norbert Invitational. Vigil finished the year with a 3.94 GPA while majoring in mechanical engineering.
A freshman from Houghton, Michigan, Sayen starred in his first year of collegiate competition in the 800m as well as the 1500m. Sayen earned All-Region honors in both events for finishing among the top five in the Midwest region. Sayen also represented the Black and Gold at the 2019 USATF U20 Championships in Miramar, Florida. Sayen earned a 3.75 GPA as an engineering management major.