CLEVELAND – The Mid-American Conference announced today the Distinguished Scholar Athletes from the eight winter sports during this 2016-17 academic season as 208 students were voted by faculty athletic representatives from each of the MAC institutions representing the 'best of the best' from each sports Academic All-MAC Teams.
Leading the way were 57 MAC women's indoor track and field students named as Distinguished Scholar Athletes. MAC women's swimming and diving students had 40 selections and men's swimming and diving provided 30 honorees, while men's indoor track and field students had 23 selections and women's gymnastics had 21 honorees. MAC women's basketball witnessed 20 selections, while wrestling had 11 selections and six students from men's basketball were honored as Distinguished Scholar Athletes.
Akron boasted 17 representatives across four teams, led by six student-athletes from the women's indoor track and field and women's swimming squads. Men's indoor track had four honorees, while women's basketball had one recipient.
Senior Hannah Plybon (Orrville, Ohio) became the first conference women's basketball player to garner Distinguished Scholar Athlete accolades in each of the award's three years of existence, while senior Laura Savariau (Saint-Hilaire-la-Palud, France) also accompliished the feat for women's swimming
In its third year, the Distinguished Scholar Athlete award is given to student-athletes who have excelled in athletics and academics. Following each season from the fall sports schedule, any student-athlete with a 3.20 GPA and participation in at least 50 percent of the contests was automatically named to the previously announced Academic All-MAC Team from each sport. Also, first-year students and junior college transfers in their first year of residence were not eligible for the award.
From the Academic All-MAC Teams, the faculty athletic representatives selected the 'best of the best' of our Academic All-MAC Teams to be honored with Distinguished Scholar Athlete Award for the 2016-17 season. The number of Distinguished Scholar Athletes from each sport is equivalent to the number of first-team selections or 33 percent of nominees, whichever was greater.
Later this spring, the MAC will announce the Distinguished Scholar Athletes from the remaining eight spring sports sponsored by the Conference.
2016-17 MAC Men's Indoor Track & Field Distinguished Scholar Athletes (4):
Adam Alexander, Akron, So., 3.818 GPA, Nursing (Tiffin, Ohio)
*Sean Poholski, Akron, Sr., 3.924 GPA, Finance (Barberton, Ohio)
Curtis Richardson, Akron, So., 3.296 GPA, Computer Science (Blacklick, Ohio)
*Dan Zupan, Akron, Sr., 3.377 GPA, Intervention Education Mild/Moderate (Berea, Ohio)
2016-17 MAC Women's Indoor Track & Field Distinguished Scholar Athletes (6):
Mackenzie Andrews, Akron, So., 3.838 GPA, PK-12 Physical Education (Toowoomba, Australia)
*Michalla Gordon, Akron, Sr., 3.696 GPA, Nursing (Wadsworth, Ohio)
Dara Perry, Akron, So., 3.617 GPA, Psychology (Akron, Ohio)
Rebecca Pietsch, Akron, Jr., 4.00 GPA, Organizational Supervision (Dusseldorf, Germany)
*Jackie Siefring, Akron, Jr., 3.623 GPA, Biomedical Engineering (Covington, Ohio)
*Tara Snipes, Akron, Sr., 3.896 GPA, Information Systems Management (Covington, Ohio)
2016-17 MAC Women's Swimming & Diving Distinguished Scholar Athletes (6):
Ragen Engel, Akron, So., 3.48 GPA, Biology, (Springfield, Ohio)
Kara Kaulius, Akron, Sr., 3.67 GPA, Marketing Management, (McDonald, Pa.)
Paige Kelkenberg, Akron, Sr., 3.75 GPA, Sports Management (Lockport, N.Y.)
Hannah Palochak, Akron, Sr., 3.70 GPA, Pre-Physical Therapy (Aliquippa, Pa.)
*^Laura Savariau, Akron, Sr., 3.53 GPA, Biology (Saint-Hilaire-la-Palud, France)
Laura Weiss, Akron, Sr., 3.53 GPA, Integrated Marketing Communications (Indianapolis, Ind.)
2016-17 MAC Women's Basketball Distinguished Scholar Athletes (1):
*^Hannah Plybon, Akron, Sr., 3.58 GPA, MBA Health Care Management (Orrville, Ohio)
*2015-16 Distinguished Scholar Athlete
^2014-15 Distinguished Scholar Athlete