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Three From Cross Country Earn All-Academic Honors

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Three From Cross Country Earn All-Academic Honors

America East All-Academic Release

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Three University at Albany cross country student-athletes were awarded America East All-Academic honors, the conference announced Tuesday.  Eric Billinson and Andrew Pirnie represent the men’s squad, while Kathryn Fanning was named on the women’s side.  The three are among 22 student-athletes recognized this season from the nine America East institutions.

Billinson, a junior from Fayetteville, N.Y., is majoring in both business and accounting and is pulling down a 3.77 grade point average.  He finished the season with the 10th fastest 8K on the team, a 27:18.6 effort at UAlbany’s home invitational. He also ran on the team that competed at the NCAA Northeast Regional Championship, covering 10K in 34:03.3.  This award represents the first time Billinson has been named to the All-Academic squad.

Like his teammate, Pirnie is also a first-time cross country All-Academic selection, though he was named to the America East Outdoor Track & Field All-Academic team in the spring of 2013.  Pirnie, a junior, hails from Hilton, N.Y. and is pulling a 3.51 GPA as a business major.  Pirnie ended his season with the third-fastest 8K on the team, running a 26:07.40 at Lehigh’s Paul Short Invitational, where he helped the team finish second overall in the Brown race.

Fanning named to the All-Academic squad for the second consecutive year.  A senior and biology major, Fanning has earned a 3.98 GPA.  Additionally, she is a researcher at the RNA Institute and a published author in the Journal of Neuroscience.  She was the traditional third runner on the women’s team, finishing her season with the third fastest 5K, 18:32.55 at the America East Championship, and the third fastest 6K, 21:42.9 at the NCAA Northeast Regional Championship.  Beyond cross country, Fanning holds school records in the indoor 1,000 and mile, and the outdoor 1,500.  She has won America East titles in the 1,000, mile, and 4×8 relay, an ECAC title in the mile, and a Penn Relays title in the sprint medley relay.  In addition to her two All-Academic selections for cross country, Fanning has been named to the indoor and outdoor track All-Academic squads on three occasions since 2012.

All-Academic squads for team sports are based on the number of athletes that participate in a contest at one time or are typically made up of 10 student-athletes for individual sports, with the exception being in the event of ties.  To be nominated for the distinction, student-athletes must be a starter or important reserve for their team and participate in at least 50 percent of their team’s games or competitions.  In the classroom, student-athletes must have a 3.30 GPA and have completed at least one calendar year at their institution.  Freshmen are not eligible for consideration.

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