Eight Earn Big 12 Academic Honor

  • By Shannon McNamara
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  • June 17, 2013 02:32 PM
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Eight West Virginia University student-athletes earned a spot on the 2013 Academic All-Big 12 At-Large Team, the conference office announced today.

The squad recognizes the academic accomplishments of student-athletes at Conference institutions that participate in sports outside of Big 12 competition. Six shooters from the WVU National Champion rifle team and two men’s soccer players were named to the first team.

Graduate Petra Zublasing, rising seniors Chance Cover and Daniel Sojka and rising juniors Meelis Kiisk, Thomas Kyanko and Maren Prediger were recognized from the rifle team, while rising senior Craig Stephens and rising junior Andy Bevin represented the men’s soccer team.

“Strong academics are so important to the success of a program and the student-athletes’ future success,” says rifle coach Jon Hammond. “Students with a strong work ethic, great time-management skills and the drive to succeed always excel in the classroom and in their sport.”

“I am very proud of what this team has accomplished, not only on the field but also in the classroom,” says men’s soccer coach Marlon LeBlanc. “These honors exemplify what our program is about.”

Of the WVU student-athletes honored, Zublasing, Prediger and Bevin registered a grade point average (GPA) of 4.0 in the spring semester.

In total, the Big 12 honored 31 student-athletes, with Baylor and TCU placing a conference-best nine each on the two teams. Twenty-five student-athletes were placed on the first team, with all honorees maintaining a 3.20 or better GPA, while the six second-team selections held a 3.00 to 3.19 GPA.

To qualify, student-athletes must maintain a 3.00 GPA or higher either cumulative or the two previous semesters and must have participated in 60 percent of their team’s scheduled contests. Freshmen and transfers are not eligible in their first year of academic residence. Senior student-athletes who have participated in a minimum of two years and meet all the criteria except percent of participation also are eligible.

A combined 25 student-athletes from the WVU rifle and men’s soccer teams earned a 3.0 GPA or higher in the spring semester; all six shooters from the rifle team were placed on the Academic All-Big 12 At-Large Team.

The 19 men’s soccer student-athletes include: Kevin Armstrong, Haydon Bennett, Bevin, Ivo Cabral, Ryan Cain, Zack Claudio, Patrick Eavenson, Paul Ehrenworth, Francio Henry, Lee Johnston, Zak Leedom, Griffin Libhart, Jamie Merriam, Majed Osman, Nick Raskasky, Christopher Spates, Stephens, Kyle Underwood and Jay Williams. Bennett and Johnston each registered a 4.00 GPA in the spring semester.