Senior Grace Yatawara

Senior Grace Yatawara looking on after a drive during the 2019-20 season

The East Carolina University women’s golf and women’s cross country teams were both honored with Public Recognition Awards by the NCAA and gained recognition for their latest multi-year academic progress rate, which each team ranked in the top 10% of all teams in its sport. In the 2018-2019 academic year both squads had a perfect score of 1,000.

ECU cross country head coach Josey Weaver is serving his fourth year as head coach and is very proud of how his team has performed in the classroom.

“Success is not just on the track, but also in the classroom; they go hand in hand,” Weaver said. “They are definitely setting the bar high, and making it hard for the next squads to top what they have done.”

Coach Weaver discussed that the coaching staff takes pride in their teams' grades and when recruiting they always make asking about the athlete’s grades a top priority.

Weaver left some specific advice for incoming freshman student athletes, explaining that college can be a fresh start for your grades and even going as far to say that there is no shame in seeking help from tutors.

“To succeed at this level you need your academics in order,” Weaver said. “Tutors get a bad rep but their job is to help students do well, tutors are here to help students learn so that they can turn B’s into A’s.”

As for women’s golf, led by head coach CC Buford, the award marks the women’s golf team’s fifth straight and sixth total time being recognized. The Pirate golfers managed to post a 3.85 team GPA for the spring semester.

Women’s cross country posted a team GPA of 3.78 for the spring semester while women’s golf posted a 3.85 GPA. The ECU athletic twitter page tweeted that as a whole, ECU student athletes posted three all-time highs in spring semester GPA with a 3.30, spring cumulative GPA with a 3.22 and the 2019-2020 annual GPA with a 3.21.

Beyond the scope of teams that were recognized by the NCAA, the ECU women’s soccer team posted its highest team GPA in program history with a 3.55 GPA for the spring semester and a 3.52 for the academic year.

The Pirate baseball team also managed a solid semester in the classroom as they too posted the highest semester team GPA in program history with a 3.61 for the spring semester. Junior pitcher and first baseman Alec Burleson could be attributed with some of the credit that goes along with the squad’s academic successes as Burleson himself has proven to be quite the scholar.

Burleson was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District 3 First Team for the second year in a row on May 14 and was also named a Third Team Academic All-American for his efforts in the classroom. Burleson boasts a 3.93 cumulative GPA as a business major.

Even though the COVID-19 pandemic managed to knock the spring semester of schooling and athletics alike out of shape, a number of East Carolina’s student athletes managed to keep performance up in the classrooms.

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