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Publish date: Jan 8, 2013

NCAA salutes top academic winners from Fall Championships

Two repeat winners, two previous winners and two institutions with multiple winners highlight the Elite 89 awards from the NCAA 2012 fall championships.

Women’s volleyball featured winners in both Division II and III that had previously won the award. Grace Krauser, a senior at Division II Wingate University, and Kia Johnson, a senior at Division III University of St. Thomas (Minnesota), both won the Elite 89 award during the 2010 women’s volleyball championship as well. Of the remaining 20 student-athletes named as Elite 89 award winners, two others were honored for a second time in-a-row at their respective sport championships, including: John DeWitt, University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh, Division III men’s cross country; and Nancy Stehman, West Chester University of Pennsylvania, Division II field hockey.

In addition, the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (Loren Shealy – Division I field hockey and Caitlin Ball – women’s soccer) and the University of St. Thomas (Minnesota) (Keegan Bragg – Division III football and Kia Johnson – women’s volleyball) 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 22 award winners by sport and division (I, II, III or National Collegiate), school and major of study and GPA are:

Sport (Division)



Major (GPA)

Men’s Cross Country (I)

Ben DeJarnette

University of Oregon

Journalism (4.0)

Men’s Cross Country (II)

Billy Brockmueller

University of Sioux Falls

Applied Mathematics and Computer Science (4.0)

Men’s Cross Country (III)

*John DeWitt

University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh

Secondary Education and Mathematics (4.0)

Women’s Cross Country (I)

Sarah Callister

Weber State University

Nursing (4.0)

Women’s Cross Country (II)

Lauryn Falcone

Rollins College

Biology (4.0)

Women’s Cross Country (III)

Dacie Manion

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Mechanical Engineering (4.0)

Field Hockey (I)

Loren Shealy

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Business Administration (4.0)

Field Hockey (II)

*Nancy Stehman

West Chester University of Pennsylvania

Middle Grades Education and Special Education (3.971)

Field Hockey (III)

Abby Erler

Montclair State University

Business Administration (4.0)

Football (FCS)

Esley Thorton

North Dakota State University

Exercise Science (3.870)

Football (II)

Justin Roberts

Valdosta State University

Business Management (3.946)

Football (III)

Keegan Bragg

University of St. Thomas (Minnesota)

Mechanical Engineering (3.982)

Men’s Soccer (I)

Keon Parsa

Georgetown University

Biology (3.827)

Men’s Soccer (II)

Martin Wehlert

Lynn University

Business Administration (4.0)

Men’s Soccer (III)

Matt Fleming

Ohio Northern University

International Business and Spanish (3.810)

Women’s Soccer (I)

Caitlin Ball

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Journalism and Mass Communication (3.913)

Women’s Soccer (II)

Kyra Meli

The College of Saint Rose

Forensic Psychology (3.910)

Women’s Soccer (III)

Erin Roberts

Misericordia University

Speech Language Pathology (4.0)

Women’s Volleyball (I)

Maggie Harding

Pennsylvania State University

Food Sciences (4.0)

Women’s Volleyball (II)

**Grace Krauser

Wingate University

Sociology (4.0)

Women’s Volleyball (III)

**Kia Johnson

University of St. Thomas (Minnesota)

Biology (3.961)

Men’s Water Polo

David Lonnberg

St. Francis College (New York)

Political Science (3.968)

*Repeat award winner

**Won award in 2010


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