GREENSBORO, N.C. — The Atlantic Coast Conference announced earlier on Tuesday that Clemson’s John Ward and Laurie Barton have been named members of their respective All-ACC Academic Cross Country Teams following the 2020 season. Today’s announcement marks the first time either athlete has earned the honor during their respective cross country careers.
Barton, a native of Clemson, S.C., is currently earning her Master of Science in Athletic Leadership after graduating from Clemson with her Health Science degree in May 2020. Barton proved to be the women’s most consistent athlete during this past cross country season, earning a top-25 finish in all three of her races and serving as the first Tiger across the line in the team’s last two meets. Barton set personal bests at both the 5k (17:25.3) and 6k (20:42.5) distance this season, with her 6k best coming at the conference championships as she finished 22nd overall.
Ward is currently a senior from Greenville, S.C., and is pursuing a degree in Landscape Architecture. During the Tigers’ 2020 cross country campaign, Ward was the first Tiger across the line in each of the team’s three races. Ward ran a personal-best time for the 8k distance at each meet this season, ending the year with a best of 24:04.4 at the ACC Cross Country Championships. Ward earned a top-10 finish in each of his first two races of the season and finished 36th at the conference championships, the best finish at the conference meet by a member of the men’s program since James Quattlebaum finished tenth in 2017.
Tuesday’s announcement marks the third consecutive year a member of the women’s program has received the conference’s honor. Ward also became the eleventh member of the men’s cross country program, and the first since 2015, to receive the honor.
Minimum academic requirements for selection to the All-ACC Academic Team are a 3.0 grade point average for the previous semester and a 3.0 cumulative average during one’s academic career. Athletic achievements during the most recent season are also considered in selecting the All-ACC Academic Team.
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