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NCAA salutes top academic winners from spring championships

Three repeat winners, one two-time winner and three institutions with multiple winners highlight the Elite 89 awards from the NCAA 2013 spring championships.

Of the 37 student-athletes named as Elite 89 award winners, four were honored for a second time at their respective sport championships, including: Steven Coniglio, Baruch College, Division III men’s volleyball; Benjamin Keller, Minnesota State University, Mankato, Division II baseball; Melanie Walsh, Washington University in St. Louis, Division III women’s golf; and Corey Whitsett, University of Alabama, Division I men’s golf.

In addition, the University of Alabama (Division I men’s golf and women’s tennis), the University of Nebraska, Lincoln (Division I men’s and women’s track and field) and Washington University in St. Louis (Division III women’s golf and men’s tennis) each featured two student-athletes named as award winners.

The Elite 89, an award founded by the NCAA, recognizes the true essence of the student-athlete by honoring the individual who has reached the pinnacle of competition at the national championship level in his or her sport, while also achieving the highest academic standard among his or her peers. The Elite 89 is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA’s 89 championships.

All GPAs are based on a straight grading scale to ensure consistency among institutions. All ties are broken by the number of credits completed.

Eligible student-athletes are sophomores or above who have participated in their sport for at least two years with their school. They must be an active member of the team, traveling and competing at the championship.

The 37 award winners by sport and division (I, II, III or National Collegiate), school and major of study and GPA are:

Sport (Division) Name Institution Major (GPA)
Baseball  (I) Ryan Deeter University of California, Los Angeles Mathematics and Economics (3.927)
Baseball (II) *Benjamin Keller Minnesota State University, Mankato Mechanical Engineering (4.0)
Baseball (III) Bradley Stroik University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point Biology, Bio-Chemistry and Pre-Med (3.950)
Men’s Golf (I) *Cory Whitsett University of Alabama Management (3.967)
Men’s Golf (II) Gary Buffington III University of West Florida Accounting (4.0)
Men’s Golf (III) Tim Vollaro Springfield College Biology (3.961)
Women’s Golf (I) Kimberly Dinh University of Wisconsin, Madison Chemical Engineering and Chemistry (4.0)
Women’s Golf (II) Holly James Ashland University Management Information Systems (4.0)
Women’s Golf (III) **Melanie Walsh Washington University  in St. Louis English Literature (3.980)
Men’s Lacrosse (I) Kevin Rice Syracuse University History (3.922)
Men’s Lacrosse (II) Trevor Vargo Mercyhurst University Biology (3.954)
Men’s Lacrosse (III) Pat MacMullan Rochester Institute of Technology Biomedical Sciences (3.910)
Women’s Lacrosse (I) Paige Hanson University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill Journalism and Mass Communications (3.801)
Women’s Lacrosse (II) Maia Czarnecki Limestone College Biology and Chemistry (4.0)
Women’s Lacrosse (III) Alice Pfeifer Middlebury College English (3.770)
Rowing (I) Kim Moldenhauer University of Oklahoma International Business (4.0)
Rowing (II) Kelsey Obringer Nova Southeastern University Political Science (3.940)
Rowing (III) Lindsay Beatty Ithaca College Clinical Health Studies (3.945)
Softball (I) Bailey Wigness Arizona State University Communication and Political Science (4.0)
Softball (II) Bailey Vrazel Texas Woman’s University Kinesiology (4.0)
Softball (III) Jordan Overland Central College (Iowa) Exercise Science and Health (3.967)
Men’s Tennis (I) Victor Valente Georgia State University Computer Information Systems (3.955)
Men’s Tennis (II) Ben Boesing University of Southern Indiana Accounting (3.889)
Men’s Tennis (III) Tim Noack Washington University in St. Louis Chemical Engineering (3.970)
Women’s Tennis (I) Emily Zabor University of Alabama Marketing (3.969)
Women’s Tennis (II) Andjela Panovski Southwest Baptist University Commercial Art (3.985)
Women’s Tennis (III) Katie Cecil Carnegie Mellon University Biological Sciences (4.0)
Men’s Outdoor Track and Field (I) John Welk University of Nebraska, Lincoln Nutrition Science (3.993)
Men’s Outdoor Track and Field (II) ***Clint Rosser / Christopher DeWitt University of California, San Diego / University of the Incarnate Word Environmental Engineering (3.970) / Business Administration (4.0)
Men’s Outdoor Track and Field (III) Daniel Bonthius Wartburg College Biology (4.0)
Women’s Outdoor Track and Field (I) Anne Martin University of Nebraska, Lincoln Elementary Education (4.0)
Women’s Outdoor Track and Field (II) Makayla McPhail Fort Hays State University Health and Human Performance (4.0)
Women’s Outdoor Track and Field (III) Erin Plews-Ogan College of Wooster Anthropology (4.0)
Men’s Volleyball (NC) Phil Fuchs Brigham Young University Business Management (3.870)
Men’s Volleyball (III) *Steven Coniglio Baruch College Actuarial Science (3.928)
Women’s Water Polo (NC) Amarens Genee University of Hawaii, Manoa Kinesiology (3.911)

*Repeat award winner

**Two-time award winner

***Named co-winners due to clerical complications

For more information on the Elite 89 award winners, log on to NCAA.com/elite89.