PROVO, Utah - The U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association awarded the 2012 BYU men's cross country team All-Academic Team honors on Monday. In addition to the team award, three Cougars earned individual All-Academic honors for standout academic and athletic achievements.

To qualify as a USTFCCCA All-Academic Cross Country Team, the team must have had a cumulative team GPA of 3.00 or better and have started at least five runners at its respective NCAA regional championship. BYU finished the season with a sixth place outing at the NCAA National Cross Country Championships while maintaining an average GPA of 3.16.

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Jared Ward, Tylor Thatcher and Rex Shields were the BYU athletes named to the USTFCCCA All-Academic team. To qualify, each student-athlete must have compiled a cumulative grade point average of 3.25 and have either earned USTFCCCA All-America status or finished in the NCAA region’s top 15 (or top 10 percent) in 2012. Ward and Thatcher earned All-America status by finishing 14th and 34th, respectively, at the NCAA National Cross Country Championships. Shields qualified for the honor by finishing 15th overall at the NCAA Mountain Region Cross Country Championships.

Mason Porter is a Sports Information Director for BYU Athletic Communications. Contact him at