NAPERVILLE, Ill. -- CSU Bakersfield senior cross country runner Melisa Cruz (Bakersfield, Calif., West HS) has earned a place on the Great West Conferene 2012 Fall Academic All-Conference team, which the conference announced on Thursday.

Cruz, a senior who has already earned a bachelor's degree in liberal studies and is currently pursuing her master's degree in counseling-student affairs, is the only Roadrunner to make the team. In her master's program, Cruz currently has a 3.58 GPA.

In all, 108 Great West Conference athletes were named to the team based on a minimum cumulative 3.2 grade point average. The athletes also must have participated in at least 50 percent of their respective team's contests. Using the institutions' most recent GPA, the student-athletes are selected by each member institution's sports information director, with approval from the faculty athletic representative and the head coach. First-year students and JC transfers in their first year of residence are not eligible for the award.

Making up the academic team are 18 men's cross country runners, 20 women's cross country runners, 49 women's soccer players and 21 volleyball players.

"Our teams have been more competitive each year, with coaches bringing in quality athletes to compete at the highest level," GWC Commissioner Ed Grom said. "But while some might think that improvement on the playing field results in diminished performance in the classroom, that is not the case in the Great West. Our schools continue to attract the best and brightest of student-athletes and I applaud their ability to find a balance between their respective sports and what is most important in the grand scheme of things - a quality education."

Cruz is also competing for the CSUB women's indoor track and field team, who will compete in its last indoor meet on Feb. 17 at the Run For the Dream Invitational in Fresno, Calif. She will also then compete for the outdoor track and field team in beginning in March.

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