Mountain Lions win in classroom, too

Thirty-six UCCS student-athletes earned Division II Athletics Directors Association Academic Achievement Awards for the 2016-2017 academic year, the association announced Aug. 25.

To receive the award, student-athletes earned a minimum of a 3.5 cumulative grade point average in at least two years of university attendance and a year of sport participation. The 36 Mountain Lions were among the record 10,644 student-athletes who compete in NCAA Division II sports who were recognized.

““Our student-athletes carry their commitment for academics into competition,” Nate Gibson, director, Athletic Department, said. “We celebrate their ability to maintain strong grades while winning championships.”

As a group, UCCS student-athletes have earned a combined 3.0 or greater GPA for 26 consecutive semesters. They were led by UCCS volleyball team which earned a 3.66 combined GPA leading to a Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference’s Brechler Award for top conference team GPA in and the American Volleyball Coaches Association Top 25 Academic Team Award.

Individually, Alex Darwin led the individual honors with a 3.988 GPA leading to the RMAC Women’s Golf Summit Award and the RMAC Academic Golfer of the Year Award. The Mountain Lions earned nine RMAC Academic First Team selections and 70 honor roll mentions among the 16 programs last season.

Winners of the 2016-17 Division II Athletic Directors Academic Achievement Award are:

Ryan Doner                        Men’s Cross Country

David Higgins                    Men’s Cross Country

Derek Tao                           Men’s Cross Country

Blake Young                       Men’s Golf

Cort Searls                          Men’s Soccer

Blake Barnes                      Men’s Soccer

Deshon Elcock                   Men’s Track & Field

Maria Haas                         Women’s Basketball

Kelly O’Flannigan            Women’s Basketball

Joey Sale                             Women’s Basketball

Makenzie Urban              Women’s Cross Country

Natalie Polei                      Women’s Cross Country

Ellie Colpitts                      Women’s Cross Country

Forre Zook                          Women’s Golf

Raquell Castillo                Women’s Golf

Alex Darwin                       Women’s Golf

Claire Nibbe                       Softball

Nikki Hoffman                  Softball

Christina Patton               Softball

Makenna Smith                Softball

Whitney Weber               Softball

Lexi Belligan                      Softball

Leigh Lancaster                 Softball

Dana Shellhorn                 Women’s Soccer

Jess Freeze                         Women’s Soccer

Bailee Jameson                 Women’s Soccer

Makenna Fuhrmann       Women’s Soccer

Ann Odom                          Women’s Soccer

Evelina Hellgren              Women’s Soccer

Morgan Evans                   Volleyball

Cassidy Bush                      Volleyball

Taylor Hamilton               Volleyball

Natasha Habert                 Volleyball

Julie Ward                          Volleyball

Alyssa Brinton                   Volleyball

Lauren Brown                    Volleyball

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