Four GNAC Track Standouts Named Academic All-Americans
From Left: Dania Holmberg (SPU), Scout Cai (SPU), Bethany Danner (NNU) and Justin Crosswhite (WOU). Both Holmberg and Danner were named Academic All-Americans for the second consecutive year.
From Left: Dania Holmberg (SPU), Scout Cai (SPU), Bethany Danner (NNU) and Justin Crosswhite (WOU). Both Holmberg and Danner were named Academic All-Americans for the second consecutive year.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

AUSTIN, Texas – Three GNAC champions and one of the conference’s top men’s middle-distance runners are among the latest to be honored for their athletic and academic achievement with selection to the College Sports Information Directors of America’s (CoSIDA) Division II Academic All-American Track & Field/Cross Country Team.

Seattle Pacific senior Dania Holmberg, the GNAC women’s champion at 1,500 meters and 5,000 meters, was named to Academic All-America Second Team. Her Falcons’ teammate, senior Scout Cai, was named to the third team after repeating as pole vault champion. Northwest Nazarene senior Bethany Danner, the conference champion at 10,000 meters, was also named to the third team.

Western Oregon senior Justin Crosswhite, who was the conference runner-up in the 800 meters, earned second-team distinction on the men’s Academic All-America Team. He was the lone GNAC student-athlete named to the men’s team.

Holmberg was named an Academic All-American for the second consecutive year. She earned third-team honors in 2020. Homberg, who has a 3.91 GPA as a psychology major, was named the GNAC Outdoor Championships Women’s Track Athlete of the Meet after she won both the 1,500 meters (4:27.31) and the 5,000 meters (17:43.57). She went on to place ninth at the NCAA Championships in the 1,500, running a season-best time of 4:25.74. Holmberg also owned the conference’s top time in the 5,000 meters, a 16:57.27 run at the Peyton-Shotwell Invitational on April 23.

Cai, who has a 3.72 GPA as an exercise science major, focused on the pole vault in 2021 after spending much of her collegiate career as a combined-event standout. The specialization paid off as Cai set the GNAC record with a clearance of 13 feet, 3 inches at the Buc Scoring Meet on April 30. She went on to win her second consecutive conference title in the event, winning at the GNAC meet with a mark of 12 feet, 3.5 inches and placed 13th at the Division II Outdoor Championships. Cai was named the GNAC Women’s Field Athlete of the Week twice during the course of the season.

Danner, who has a 4.00 GPA as a secondary education major, earned Academic All-America honors for the second straight year after being named to the second team in 2020. Danner won the GNAC Championships 10,000 meters in a season-best time of 37:09.29 and placed third in the 5,000 meters in a time of 18:13.71. She finished with the conference’s top time in the 10,000 meters and ran the fifth-best time in the 5,000 meters, 18:06.74, at the Team 4 Ely Invitational on March 27.

Crosswhite, who compiled a 4.00 GPA as a student in Western Oregon’s master’s of organizational leadership program, finished out his Wolves’ career strong. He finished second in the 1,500 meters at the GNAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships, earning all-conference honors, and placed seventh in 800 meters. Crosswhite ran a season-best 1:51.97 in the 800 meters at the Oregon Relays on April 23 and a best of 3:50.61 in the 1,500 meters at the OSU High Performance Meet on April 30.

Nominees for the CoSIDA Academic All-America program must be of sophomore eligibility or greater, must be in their second year at the nominating institution, must be a starter or important reserve for their team and must have a cumulative GPA of 3.30 or greater.

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