Girls’ cross-country team receives academic accolades

Although their season has long passed for this school year, the Pagosa Springs High School girls’ cross-country team received honors last week when they were recognized by the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) for academic excellence.

Known as “Academic Team Champions,” the girls were recognized for their team’s cumulative grade point average of 3.93 out of a possible 4.0 maximum, on a non-weighted grading scale.

“We’re very proud of them,” said Pagosa Springs High School (PSHS) Athletic Director Jim Shaffer. “It’s a very prestigious award. These are a bunch of girls who work hard in the classroom and on the athletic field.”

“We’ve always known we had a lot of athletic talent as well as intellectual talent on the squad,” said PSHS varsity cross country coach Scott Anderson. “This shows the type of dedication these girls give to their academics as well as their extracurricular activities.”

In a press release accompanying the announcement, CHSAA Commissioner William Reader stressed the importance of the relationship between high school athletics and academic performance.

“We know from research in our own state that students who participate in interscholastic athletics and activities are better students. They have higher grade point averages than the rest of the student body, they post higher test scores and are absent less often. Quite simply, involvement in high school activities and athletics makes for better students,” Reader said.

According to the release, over 21,000 students are represented in high school athletics throughout the state. The award recognized 12 different athletic and non-athletic activities for the fall season of 2008.