Sunday, July 4, 2010

Ten programs finished with combined grade point averages above a 3.00

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The spring semester in 2010 saw plenty of success for the Tigers competitively. The men’s basketball team advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament and the women’s softball team advanced to its second-straight Women’s College World Series. Mizzou Gymnastics also advanced to the NCAA Championships for the first time in program history; combine that with football’s fifth-straight bowl game, Mizzou’s 13 All-Americans and another victory over Kansas in M&I Bank Border Showdown, 2009-10 was a year to remember.

But Mizzou’s success did not end on the competition floor as 2009-10 was another banner year for Mizzou academically, specifically in the spring semester. In fact, seven of Missouri’s 20 sports led the Big 12 Conference in Academic Progress Rate (APR), which was second-most in the league, while compiling an overall combined grade point average (GPA) of 2.80. Additionally, 10 of Mizzou’s programs also tallied a GPA better than 3.00 and nearly half of the student-athletes at Mizzou achieved at least a 3.00 GPA. Each of those 217 student-athletes earned a spot on the 2009 Commissioner’s Honor Roll as well and of those 217 student-athletes, 149 were recognized on their respective school’s dean’s list, the second-most all-time at Mizzou.

During the 2010 spring semester, Mizzou achieved a 75-percent Graduation Success Rate while 80 athletes across the winter and spring sports landed on the Big 12’s Academic All-Conference teams. Additionally, the Mizzou men’s and women’s cross country teams were honored by the US Track & Field/Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) as All-Academic teams. The honor for the Tiger women is their 44th consecutive USTFCCCA academic award, making them the only program in the nation to take home the award in every season since the USTFCCCA started to recognize All-Academic teams.

Individually, plenty of Tigers were honored by various organizations from around the nation for academic success. Kaitie Vanatta, Leslie Farmer and Shannon Leinert of the Mizzou track and field program were all recognized. Vanatta was named to the USTFCCCA All-Academic team while Farmer and Leinert earned a spot on the CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Team; Leinert went on to be honored as a third team Academic All-American as well.

Abby Vock was the Division I softball recipient of the NCAA Elite 88 Award. The award is given to the player at their respective championship that had the highest overall GPA. That means that of all of the student-athletes on teams that advanced to the Women’s College World Series, Vock had the best overall GPA. A junior accountancy major, Vock boasts a 3.84 cumulative GPA during her time at Mizzou.

Several student-athletes received additional major awards from Academic organizations, highlighted by both Madison Marcolla (women’s golf) and Tim Cornell (track/cross country) as both earned a Big 12 Postgraduate Scholarship. Also, track and field freshman jumper Marcus Ferguson was named to the Omicron Delta Kappa Freshman 14 for his work on the track and in the classroom. Junior Kari Adam (soccer) was also named to the Mystical 7, a secret society at Mizzou. Mystical Seven taps seven outstanding seniors for membership based on their good deeds and selfless leadership and service to the campus and community. Mystical Seven is the second-oldest of the secret honor societies still in existence at Mizzou.

For their work in the community along with their success in their respective sports, RaeShara Brown (women’s basketball), Bree Thornton (soccer), Weiwen Wang (volleyball), Alyssa Bonnick (soccer) and Sierra Gant (women’s track) all earned the Arthur Ashe Jr. Award while Sarah Shire (gymnastics) and Max Askren (wrestling) each received the Big 12 Community Service Award.

Mizzou also had several of its student-athletes recognized for leadership, highlighted by baseball’s Andreas Plackis, who earned the Chancellor’s Excellence and Leadership Award. Also, Jordan Hawley (men’s swimming), Terry Dennis (football), Marissa Cook (women’s golf) and Gant will attend the Big 12 Leadership Summit.

To round out the individual awards, Plackis and Dennis each received the MU Unsung Hero Award. The nominees are judged on their contributions to Mizzou and the greater Columbia community. More specifically the award identifies individuals who do the behind the scenes work that make differences in the life or lives of somebody else. The Unsung Hero award is looking for the humble and ‘unsung’ because nobody else does.

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