Jessica Pixler of Seattle Pacific and Myles Burnside of Northwest Missouri State have been named the top female and male Division II Scholar-Athletes of the Year by the Division II Conference Commissioners Association.
The selection of Pixler and Burnside caps a process guided by the Division II Commissioners Association. In August, 16 regional scholar-athlete award winners were named. Pixler and Burnside were selected from a field of eight men’s regional winners and eight women’s regional winners.
Pixler is the first student-athlete from the Great Northwest Athletic Conference to win the award in its 11-year history, while Burnsides is the fourth Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association winner.
“We are all very proud of the quality student-athletes that Division II institutions produce annually,” said Butch Raymond, commissioner of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference and president of the Division II Commissioners Association. “The balance of academic and athletics is the hallmark of Division II and all of our award winners exemplify the best of both worlds.”
Pixler won four NCAA titles last year alone. After capturing the individual title at the Division II Women’s Cross Country Championships, she won the mile at the Division II Women’s Indoor Track and Field Championships and ran the anchor for the distance medley relay. In the spring, Pixler captured the 1,500 meter race at the Division II women’s outdoor championships.
Pixler was named Division II National Athlete of the Year in all three sports while maintaining a 3.93 cumulative grade point average in English.
Burnsides maintained a 3.90 GPA as an undergraduate and a 3.86 GPA last year as a graduate student while helping the Bearcats to a 2009 NCAA Division II Football Championship. A second-team Little All-American selection by The Associated Press, Burnside led Northwest Missouri State with 5 interceptions and a team-high 41 solo tackles last season. He is pursuing his master’s degree in business administration. A two-time first-team CoSIDA Academic All-American, Burnsides maintained a 4.0 GPA in each trimester he participated in football at Northwest Missouri.
Other women’s regional winners were: Christine Johnstone, Lynn; Kyleigh Turner, UIndy; Kyrie Timbrook, Caldwell; Cassondra Boston, Emporia State; Tori Hansen, West Liberty; Anita Bulcher, Newberry; and Kayla Mitchell, Colorado Mines.
Other men’s regional winners were: Malcolm Ingram, Philadelphia U.; Orlando Dufus, Saint Augustine’s; Jarrell NeSmith, Tusculum; Jon Koenigsfeld, Valdosta State; Sam Charles, Montana State-Billings; Marcus Greatens, Winona State; and Alex Gilde, Grand Valley State.