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NCAA selects Today’s Top 10 for 2013

The NCAA has selected 10 extraordinary student-athletes who will be honored in January as the Today’s Top 10 Award winners. 

The NCAA Today’s Top 10 Award recognizes student-athletes who completed their athletics eligibility during the 2011-12 academic year for their success on the fields and courts, in the classroom, and in the community. Award recipients will be recognized at the Honors Celebration on Jan. 18 during the NCAA Convention in Grapevine, Texas.

The NCAA Honors Committee selects the honorees. The committee is composed of athletics administrators at member institutions and nationally distinguished citizens who are former student-athletes 

Previously, the award recognized eight student-athletes and was known as Today’s Top VIII. The NCAA Honors Committee expanded the award to honor 10 student-athletes to recognize the increased number of student-athletes, sports and championship opportunities.

Nick Amuchastegui 
Stanford University
Major: Mechanical engineering
GPA: 3.91
Sport: Wrestling

Amuchastegui completed his wrestling career at Stanford in 2012 as the only Stanford wrestler to reach the NCAA finals twice. The three-time All-American ended his career as a two-time national runner-up and with a fourth-place finish. He ranks fourth in all-time wins at Stanford with 118. Amuchastegui was named Pac-12 2011-12 Wrestler of the Year and won two Pac-12 championships during his career. Amuchastegui was also recognized for his accomplishments in the classroom. He was twice the CoSIDA/Capital One Men’s At-Large All-America of the Year and was also a two-time NCAA Elite 88 Award winner. The Pac-12 named Amuchastegui Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2012. While at Stanford, Amuchastegui gave back to the community by assisting with elementary school and playground renovation projects. Amuchastegui also volunteered for the Boys and Girls Club and participated in a food drive.

Miles Batty 
Brigham Young University
Major: Neuroscience and exercise science
GPA: 3.93
Sports: Cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field

Miles Batty is an eight-time United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-American. In 2011, Batty was the NCAA indoor mile national champion and was a member of the national champion distance medley relay team. Batty holds the NCAA indoor mile record and two school records at Brigham Young. He was named 2010 Mountain West Conference Athlete of the Year and Mountain Region Athlete of the Year in track and cross country. Batty was twice named CoSIDA/Capital One Academic All-America of the Year for men’s track and field and cross country. Batty received the NCAA Walter Byers Postgraduate Scholarship and the West Coast Conference Postgraduate Scholarship. In 2012, he was named the USTFCCCA Scholar Athlete of the Year and the West Coast Conference Mike Gilleran Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Batty tutored fellow Brigham Young students, served as a missionary in Brazil and was a member of Brigham Young’s student-athlete service council. He also participated in blood drives, clothing drives and Special Olympics.

Ashley Brignac 
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Major: Kinesiology and exercise science
GPA: 4.0
Sport: Softball

Louisiana-Lafayette softball pitcher Ashley Brignac helped lead the Ragin’ Cajuns to four straight NCAA championship appearances, including the 2008 Women’s College World Series. The Sun Belt Conference pitcher of the year received the 2008 James J. Corbett Award from the All-State Sugar Bowl, which recognizes the most outstanding athlete in Louisiana. She received National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-America honors in 2007. Brignac was named Louisiana-Lafayette’s Overall Outstanding Graduate and was awarded the Sun Belt Conference Postgraduate Scholarship. In 2011 and 2012, Brignac was named the CoSIDA/Capital One Academic All-America Softball Player of the Year. She was named to the Louisiana-Lafayette President’s List and to the Sun Belt’s Commissioner’s List each year of her college career. When she wasn’t on the field or in the classroom, Brignac volunteered for the Special Olympics or as a fastpitch softball coach. The team captain was a member of the National Honor Society and Phi Kappa Phi.

Micah Davis 
 Delta State University
Major:  Chemistry/pre-medicine
GPA: 4.0
Sport: Football

Micah Davis led Delta State to an NCAA Division II national runner-up finish in 2010 and a semifinal finish in 2011. A quarterback, Davis holds every Delta State postseason passing record. Davis was named the Gulf South Conference and South Region Offensive Football Player of the Year. He was awarded the Gulf South Conference Commissioner’s Trophy and was a national finalist for the Harlon Hill Trophy, an award given to the top football player in Division II. Graduating with a perfect GPA, Davis was named a National Scholar Athlete by the National Football Foundation and received the organization’s postgraduate scholarship. Davis was a finalist for the Campbell Trophy, presented to the nation’s top football scholar-athlete. A team captain and member of the Football Player Council, Davis was a leader in the Cleveland Mentor Program and the Pearman Reading Project. Davis also volunteered for Habitat for Humanity and the American Cancer Society.

Robert Griffin III 
Baylor University
Major: Political science
GPA: 3.67
Sport: Football  

Robert Griffin III matched his on-field performances with excellence in the classroom. Griffin earned his undergraduate degree in political science in just three years and was named to the academic All-Big 12 team twice. The 2011 Heisman Trophy winner, Griffin also received the Davey O’Brien Award and was named national player of the year by many outlets. Griffin led Baylor to its first bowl win in 19 years and a No. 12 final national ranking as a junior. He is a career leader at Baylor in 20 categories and led the nation in 2011 in points. As a freshman, Griffin finished third in the 400-meter hurdles at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships. His involvement in the community includes Santa’s workshop, Special Olympics and the Waco mentor program. At the 2011 NCAA Convention, Griffin participated in President Mark Emmert’s State of the Association speech.

Stacey Hagensen 
Pacific Lutheran University
Major: Math and economics
GPA: 3.92
Sport: Softball

Stacey Hagensen led the Pacific Lutheran softball team to the Division III national championship in 2012. As a pitcher for the Lutes, Hagensen was the Northwest Conference Woman of the Year and Pitcher of the Year for 2011-12. The two-time All-American also received the Most Outstanding Player award for her performance at the national championship. An Academic All-America first-team member, Hagensen was a member of the international economics honor society and received the Highest Graduating GPA Award from the Pacific Lutheran Economics Department. As a team captain and Student-Athlete Advisory Committee member, Hagensen played an active role as a leader on campus. She served as a math tutor, women’s Bible-study leader and student-government bookkeeper during her time at Pacific Lutheran. 

Lindsay Lettow 
University of Central Missouri
Major: Psychology
GPA: 3.84
Sport: Indoor and outdoor track and field

Four-time national champion Lindsay Lettow left her mark at the University of Central Missouri with nine school records in track and field. Her 5,748 points in the heptathlon at the 2012 NCAA outdoor championships set conference and school records.  During her time with the Jennies, Lettow received All-America honors 16 times. In both her junior and senior years, she earned the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association Ken B. Jones Award as the conference’s top female student-athlete. In doing so, she became only the third student-athlete in history to win the award twice. Lettow is an NCAA postgraduate scholarship recipient and was named to the Central Missouri dean’s list every semester. She demonstrated leadership skills both as a team captain and an officer for the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. Lettow volunteered at nursing and veterans homes in Warrensburg and often sang the national anthem at Central Missouri sporting events. She was a member of the Jennies Literacy Team that read to local elementary students.

Brooke Pancake 
University of Alabama
Major: Marketing
GPA: 4.0
Sport: Golf

Brooke Pancake led the Crimson Tide to its first NCAA Division I women’s golf team title in 2012, with a runner-up finish individually. The Southeastern Conference Female Athlete of the Year won the 2012 Honda Sports Award, which recognized her as the national top female collegiate golfer. Pancake was the SEC’s 2012 Woman of the Year nominee and was a 2012 NCAA Woman of the Year finalist. A two-time first-team All-American, Pancake holds the second best scoring average in Alabama history. Her dedication to academics earned her CoSIDA/Capital One Academic All-America of the Year honors in 2012 and the NCAA Elite 88 Award in 2010. Pancake is a two-time Edith Cummings Munson Award winner, given to the student-athlete with the highest GPA among first-team All-Americans. The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee officer is a recipient of an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship and the SEC’s H. Boyd McWhorter Postgraduate Scholarship. Pancake impacted the Tuscaloosa community by volunteering at a disaster relief center following a tornado in April 2011. She also volunteered at the Caring Days Center and read to children with special needs.

Liz Phillips 
Washington University in St. Louis
Major: Biomedical engineering
GPA: 4.0
Sport: Cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field

2012 NCAA Woman of the Year Liz Phillips graduated from Washington U. in St. Louis as a seven-time All-American and nine-time conference champion. Phillips led both the cross country and track teams as a captain and helped her team win the Division III cross country national championship. The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee officer was named valedictorian of her class in the School of Engineering and received the Harriet K. Switzer Leadership Award for her significant contribution to her school as a female senior. Phillips was a three-time recipient of the NCAA Elite 89 Award, earning a cumulative GPA of 4.0 in biomedical engineering. For three years Phillips was involved with the Girls on the Run organization as a coach. She was vice president of the Society of Women Engineers and worked as a research assistant at the Thomopoulos Orthopaedic Surgery lab during the summer of 2012. Phillips was a motivator for her team and mentor to freshmen students in engineering.

Wendy Trott 
University of Georgia
Major: International affairs
GPA: 3.97
Sport: Swimming and diving

Five-time Southeastern Conference champion Wendy Trott dominated the freestyle competition as a member of Georgia’s swimming team. Trott led her team to three national runner-up finishes and was a three-time NCAA individual champion in the 1,650 freestyle. With a cumulative GPA of 3.97, Trott was the SEC’s Scholar Athlete of the Year for swimming in 2012 and earned the NCAA Elite 89 Award the same year. She held leadership positions as a team captain and member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee while volunteering with Habitat for Humanity and the Northeast Georgia Food Bank. Her international and Olympic competition includes a 12th place finish at the 2012 Olympics representing South Africa and a gold medal at the 2011 Santa Clara International Grand Prix.