CLASSROOM PERFORMANCE RIVALS ON-FIELD SUCCESS FOR LANCERS IN 2018-19

A Big South championship in softball, top-three conference finishes in field hockey, women’s lacrosse and women’s soccer, and the first Division I postseason appearance and postseason victory for men’s basketball.

And that’s only half the story.

Matching an on-field performance that was collectively the best of Longwood athletics’ 15-year Division I era, Lancer student-athletes also excelled in the classroom in 2018-19 and capped a strong academic year with a record 3.12 cumulative grade point average for the spring semester. That mark is the highest in a spring semester for Longwood student-athletes since the department began tracking such data in the fall of 2008.

Highlighted by 80 Dean’s List selections, 20 President’s List honorees and 2019 Sally Barksdale Hargrett Prize co-winner Kate Spradlin, Longwood’s student-athletes combined for a GPA of at least 3.00 for the fifth consecutive semester. Their performance in the spring follows a similarly triumphant academic showing this past fall in which the school’s 200-plus student-athletes achieved a department-record 3.14 GPA, the highest in a single term in more than a decade.

“It has been an incredible year for Longwood athletics in many facets, but the academic performance of our student-athletes this season may be the most impressive thing we have accomplished as a department,” said athletics director Michelle Meadows, who oversaw Longwood athletics as interim athletics director in 2018-19 before being appointed to that role full-time in May.

“For our 200-plus athletes to register a 3.14 in the fall and follow that with what they did this past spring shows that these numbers are no fluke. Our coaches, administrators, faculty and student-athletes should all be commended for setting new standards in the classroom, all while continuing to raise the bar on the field as well.”

The spring success was widespread throughout Longwood’s 14 varsity programs, with 11 of those recording a spring GPA of at least 3.00 and more than 60 percent of student-athletes hitting that mark individually. Women’s cross country achieved the highest GPA of any team with a 3.58, while men’s golf set the standard for the men with a 3.41. Field hockey, women’s soccer and softball also met the 3.30 team GPA mark, while six members of the women’s soccer team and four women’s lacrosse players made the President’s List for posting perfect GPAs of 4.00 for the term.

Longwood softball, winners of the 2019 Big South Softball Championship, paired its title run with a 3.32 team GPA, the fifth highest in the entire department. That was the program’s highest of the past seven terms and joined men’s basketball and women’s cross country in achieving their highest marks during the same timespan.

As a whole, Longwood’s 3.12 department GPA marks the sixth consecutive term that Lancer student-athletes have combined for a GPA of at least 3.00. It is the third consecutive semester with a mark of at least 3.11 and the second straight spring at that benchmark, following last spring’s 3.11.

“We’re proud of our student-athletes, not just for their work this semester and last, but for the years-long commitment to making classroom performance a pillar of what we do in the Longwood athletics department,” Meadows said.

“Earning this caliber of grades is not something that happens overnight. It’s the result of a prolonged commitment to excellence in all facets of the student-athlete experience, and it’s the byproduct of an environment within each program that our coaches, administrators and faculty have strived for from day one. Longwood is a special place that is serious about its commitment to developing young people in all facets, and this performance is another example of that.”

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