Seminoles set high marks with three national Academic All-Americans

Longest winning streak, fastest time in the nation, best mark in school history…records were indeed set during the 2004-05 athletic season at Florida State. But the success was not limited to the playing arena as the Seminoles also set high marks in the classroom.

Florida State had three student-athletes garner National Academic All-American honors in 2005 when softball junior Natasha Jacob and track and field sophomores Garrett Johnson and Tom Lancashire earned second team status. It marked the first time since 1970 that three FSU student-athletes earned the honor in the same season.

"What an honor it is for these three student-athletes to be recognized nationally for their academic accomplishments," Director of Athletic Academic Support, Mark Meleney said. "Their athletic statistics are impressive enough, but when you look at their college transcripts and see the amazing grade point averages they have maintained while competing at the highest level of intercollegiate sports, you realize just how special these Seminoles truly are."

Overall, FSU student-athletes, representing five sports, have been named National Academic All-Americans 26 times since 1970. Prior to this season, the last Seminole to earn the honor was softball’s Brandi Stuart in 2001.

"It isn’t surprising to see Natasha, Garrett, and Tom’s names on the Seminoles’ all-time list of National Academic All-Americans," Associate Director and Coordinator of all Academic Honors and Awards, Amy Lord, said. "In fact, some of the most decorated athletes in Seminole history were Academic All-Americans and after 10 years of working with academic honors and awards, I am convinced that the skills it takes to be successful on the playing fields are the same skills which make you successful in the classroom; but balance is the key. This year, Natasha Jacob, Garrett Johnson, and Tom Lancashire have excelled at balancing a demanding athletic schedule with a rigorous academic course load."

In addition to the national honors, Florida State also had three District Academic All America winners in 2005 with women’s basketball’s Ganiyat Adeduntan, baseball’s Aaron Cheesman and swimming and diving’s Emily Breen.

Cheesman was also one of three Seminoles who received the ACC’s Weaver-James-Corrigan Postgraduate Scholarship. He is joined by soccer’s Jezali Ratliff and women’s tennis’ Mihaela Moldovan. Over the years, a total of 24 Florida State student-athletes have been bestowed this award.

At the conclusion of the 2004-05 school year, five of Florida State’s athletic teams had a 3.0 or better cumulative grade point average. In the spring 2005 semester, 177 Seminoles achieved a minimum 3.0 semester GPA while average team semester GPA was a 2.813.

The ACC Academic Honor Roll will be released later this summer and FSU officials are once again expecting a large number of Seminoles to be among those recognized.