Ortmans Named to Cross Country USTFCCCA All-Academic Team

March 3, 2009

LEXINGTON, Ky. - University of Kentucky women's cross country runners Jenna Ortman and Jessica Ortman were named to the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association's National All-Academic Team as announced by its home office in New Orleans, Monday evening.

The senior harriers were two of the 77 female student-athletes bestowed the prestigious honor. The award recognizes student-athletes who have succeeded both academically and athletically. Eligibility for the award requires a student-athlete carry a minimum 3.25 cumulative grade point average (GPA) during the 2008 fall term. Additionally, the student-athlete must finish in the top-15 runners or top 10 percent of finishers at their respective NCAA regional meet, or receive All-America honors. It is the first USTFCCCA honor for Jenna and the second for Jessica after being named to last year's team.

The siblings from Williamsville, N.Y., arrived on Kentucky's campus in 2007 after competing for two seasons at the State University at Albany (N.Y.). The Ortmans made an immediate impact on the 2007 cross country team leading the Cats to a top-four finish at the Southeast Regional with Jessica earning All-Region honors.

Both runners earned All-Region honors at the 2008 Southeast Regional last fall. Jessica placed 10th overall with a 6K time of 21:22, while Jenna finished 15th with a time of 21:29. Together, they led a contingent of five Wildcats that placed in the top-36 to earn the Cats an automatic berth into the NCAA National Championships - UK's first appearance since 1989.

At the NCAA meet, the communications majors finished the 6K course within a second of each other. Jessica finished first for the Wildcats for the seventh time in as many meets with a 6K mark of 21:50, good for 181st overall; Jenna finished the course in 21:51 for 185th overall.

"Jenna and Jessica come to practice every day with an unparalleled work ethic," said assistant head coach for distance and cross country John Mortimer. "That attribute pays off athletically on the cross country course and in the classroom."

Kentucky is one of just 20 Division I institutions with more than one representative on the All-Academic team. The Cats join three other conference schools with two female athletes represented in Arkansas, Florida and Tennessee.

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