(Courtesy of the Montana State University Athletic Department)

Three Montana State track and field student-athletes earned national all-academic kudos for achievements during the 2016 indoor season, the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association announced.

The USTFCCCA honored  seniors Danielle Rider and Kaylee Schmitz and junior Casey Teska for a combination of academic excellence and athletic achievement. To qualify, athletes must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.25 (out of 4.0) while ranking among the top 96 on the national descending order list.

“Each of these ladies achieved great things athletically while meeting very high standards academically,” said Bobcat head track and field coach Dale Kennedy. “This program has a strong tradition of this kind of success, and what Danielle and Kaylee and Casey have done challenges those in the program and those that will follow them.”

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Rider posted a 3.67 grade point average in graphic design at MSU, finishing 44th on the NCAA national indoor track descending order list in the pentathlon. The Billings product finished second in the Big Sky indoor meet in that event, and second in the heptathlon outdoors.

Schmitz’s GPA was 3.37 in land resources. She won the Big Sky Indoor Championship in the 800 m, and set MSU’s outdoor school record while advancing to the NCAA Regionals in that event. Schmitz, from O’Fallon, Illinois, finished 79th on the NCAA descending order list indoors.

Teska, from Stow, Massachusetts, logged a 3.52 GPA in mechanical engineering and finished 79th on the indoor pole vault descending order list. She won the Big Sky Indoor Championship in that event, redshirting in the outdoor season.

Announcement of All-Academic Team honors, the highest-achieving squads from the 2016 indoor season, are expected next week.