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Publish date: Apr 23, 2013

NCAA salutes top academic winners from winter championships

INDIANAPOLIS---Two repeat honorees, along with the men’s and women’s basketball recipients from the same school, a first in the four-year history of the award, highlight the NCAA Elite 89 award winners from the NCAA 2012-13 winter championships.

Of the 32 student-athletes named as Elite 89 award winners, the two honored for a second time at their respective sport championships are Megan Buja, University of Maryland, Eastern Shore, National Collegiate bowling and Brent Sterling, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Division I men’s swimming and diving.

In addition, the University of Louisville was the first school to have recipients named in both men’s and women’s basketball in the same year, with Wayne Blackshear and Jude Schimmel being presented with the awards.

The Elite 89 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 88 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 32 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)
Men’s Basketball  (I) Wayne Blackshear University of Louisville Communications (3.550)
Men’s Basketball (II) Nicholas Kay Metropolitan State University of Denver Biology (3.970)
Men’s Basketball (III) Kainon Irons University of Mary Hardin-Baylor Engineering Science (3.902)
Women’s Basketball (I) Jude Schimmel University of Louisville Sociology (3.737)
Women’s Basketball (II) Kristen McMahon Dowling College Physical Education (4.0)
Women’s Basketball (III) Hannah Lukemeyer DePauw University Kinesiology (3.973)
Bowling (NC) *Megan Buja University of Maryland, Eastern Shore Human Ecology (4.0)
Fencing (NC) Max Stearns The Ohio State University Political Science (4.0)
Men’s Gymnastics (NC) Nathan Fortunato University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Recreation Resource Management (4.0)
Women’s Gymnastics (NC) Kim Jacob University of Alabama Exercise Science (4.0)
Men’s Ice Hockey (I) Brooks Bertsch St. Cloud State University Business Management (3.967)
Men’s Ice Hockey (III) Nicholas Poulin Norwich University Management (3.946)
Women’s Ice Hockey (NC) Gina Buquet Mercyhurst University Exercise Science (3.940)
Women’s Ice Hockey (III) Carolyn Draayer Gustavus Adolphus College Communication Studies (3.972)
Rifle (NC) Olivia Pennell University of Nevada Economics (4.0)
Skiing (NC) Liz Guiney University of New Hampshire Genetics (3.988)
Men’s Swimming & Diving (I) *Brent Sterling University of Tennessee, Knoxville Biological Sciences (3.980)
Men’s Swimming & Diving (II)

**Ivan Nechunaev /

Robbie Swan

Grand Canyon University /

Florida Southern College

Finance and Economics (3.981) /

Business (4.0)

Men’s Swimming & Diving (III) Eric Hallman University of Chicago Math and Linguistics (3.978)
Women’s Swimming & Diving (I) Emma Svensson Florida Gulf Coast University Economics (4.0)
Women’s Swimming & Diving (II) Molly Brown Drury University Elementary Education (4.0)
Women’s Swimming & Diving (III) Alex Ladd Johns Hopkins University Molecular and Cellular Biology (3.970)
Men’s Indoor Track & Field (I) Luke Lefebure Stanford University Mathematical and Computational Science (3.811)
Men’s Indoor Track & Field (II) William Shell Southwest Baptist University Athletic Training (4.0)
Men’s Indoor Track & Field (III) Jared Denu University of Wisconsin, Whitewater Accounting (3.855)
Women’s Indoor Track & Field (I) Chelsea Oswald University of Kentucky Biology (4.0)
Women’s Indoor Track & Field (II) Madison Pines Northwood University (Michigan) Accounting (4.0)
Women’s Indoor Track & Field (III) Erin Schoenfelder University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire Elementary Education (3.981)
Wrestling (I) Matt Brown Pennsylvania State University Criminology (3.970)
Wrestling (II) Chase Long Ohio Valley University Marketing (3.865)
Wrestling (III) Cody Lovejoy Ohio Northern University Pharmacy (4.0)

*Repeat award winner

**Named co-winners due to clerical complications

For more information on the Elite 89 award winners, log on to

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