LSU Gold

Palin, Gunnarsson Earn USTFCCCA Academic Honor

by Aaron Hyder
Palin, Gunnarsson Earn USTFCCCA Academic Honor

Baton Rouge, La. – Freshman Julia Palin and sophomore Lisa Gunnarsson have been recognized by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association for their hard work in the classroom and on the track during the 2018-19 academic year.

To qualify for USTFCCCA All-Academic honors, Palin and Gunnarsson had to have a GPA of 3.25 or higher and have met one of the following athletic standards: rank top 96 indoors in their event or compete at the NCAA East Preliminaries.

Gunnarsson met the academic criteria and cemented her spot with a No. 4 ranking on the NCAA indoor pole vault list. She cleared a season best of 14′ 9.50” (4.51 meters) at her only indoor meet of the season at the Razorback Invitational in late January. That mark made her the LSU school record holder indoors. Outdoors, she competed at the SEC Championships and placed sixth with a clearance of 13′ 7.75” (4.16 meters); the clearance of 13′ 7.75” is the second best in LSU history outdoors.

Palin littered her name throughout the LSU record books in the distance categories during her freshman campaign while excelling in the classroom. Palin received the USTFCCCA academic award by competing in the 10,000 meter run at the NCAA East Preliminaries. In that race, she ran a personal best of 34:34.20 to finish 18th, narrowly missing a bid to the NCAA Championships by six spots. The time of 34:34.20 is the second fastest in school history. One of the best ever LSU distance runners already, Palin also owns top-10 LSU marks in the 3,000 meter run (9:50.16/No. 5), indoor 5,000 meter run (16:38.80/No. 2) and the outdoor 5,000 meter run (17:02.47).