For the 21st consecutive year, at least one Ventura College athletic team has been recognized for academic achievement by the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA). The organization released its team and individual scholar awards for the 2019-20 this week, and the Pirates' women's cross country team has been named a CCCAA State Scholar Team. This is the 40th VC team to receive the highest academic team award given annually in each CCCAA sport since the program's inception in 1997-98. This is the third award for women's cross country at VC, as the Pirates previously earned the award in 2006 and 2015.
The VC women harriers posted an overall grade point average of 3.58 in the Fall semester of 2019. The team had 11 participants and all of them completed at least 12 units as full time students. There were six members of the team who were honored on the Dean's List for the fall with a 3.5 GPA or above including Liliana Gomez, Michelle Hamm, Michelle Meugniot, Diana Saldana, Alexandra Sanchez and Brieanna Tafoya.
In competition, the Pirates had another outstanding year. The Pirates finished third in the Western State Conference Championships and seventh in the Southern California Regionals. Behind a runner-up finish by Olivia Burton and a third place run by Tafoya, VC finished sixth at the CCCAA State Championships, the program's third straight Top-10 finish.
The Scholar Team Award is the highest academic team achievement given annually by the CCCAA. All team members must have excelled academically with the team achieving a total GPA of 3.0 or higher. The team should also have demonstrated better than average accomplishments in intercollegiate athletic competition.
Since the inception of the State Scholar Team program, Ventura College leads all schools across the state in recognition for academic excellence. The Pirates have now won 40 State Scholar Team Awards, with WSC rival Cuesta second at 35. Orange Coast is third with 32. while Moorpark has won 31 State Scholar Team awards. Santa Barbara and Saddleback have 24 and 19, respectively.