Spartanburg, S.C. – The Atlantic Sun Conference released its academic awards for the 2012-13 academic year and USC Upstate’s student-athletes were well represented in all four categories of awards distributed by the league office.
Upstate placed 143 student-athletes on the A-Sun All-Academic list for achieving a 3.0 GPA for the year. That figure represents 65 percent of Upstate’s student-athlete population and was higher than the overall percentage for the entire conference. In addition, 32 Spartans earned special distinction as either a President’s, Commissioner’s or Conference Scholar selection.
Men’s soccer player Matt Begley earned President’s Scholar honors for completing his eligibility with a GPA of 3.8 or better. President's Scholar honors are earned by all student-athletes who are listed in the final squad list for their sport, who earn a cumulative GPA of 3.8 or above, who have completed their final year of eligibility and who have received their bachelor's degree this year.
Volleyball player Emily Sanders and women's tennis player Julie Bell were recognized as Commissioner’s Scholars for graduating with a GPA between 3.6 and 3.79, as well as meeting the criteria, other than GPA, for the above President’s Scholar.
Finally, 30 Upstate student-athletes earned Conference Scholar honors for maintaining a cumulative GPA of 3.4 or better and reached at least sophomore level. Those individuals were Chris Cox (baseball), Chris Knauff (baseball), Erik Samples (baseball), Lucas Weber (baseball), Mario Blessing (men’s basketball), Gilbert Kemboi (cross country/track), Ross Oden (men’s cross country/track), Laura Transue (women’s cross country/track), Kristi Goodman (women’s golf), James Hadley (men’s soccer), Dylan Hoop (men’s soccer), Dave Musambi (men’s soccer), Michael Rankin-Byrne (men’s soccer), Katelyn Allen (women’s soccer), Rachel Carr (women’s soccer), Stafany Saura (women’s soccer), Samantha Seelinger (women’s soccer), Dana Landers (softball), Marche Llanos (softball), Kara Lohr (softball), Sam Poarch (softball), Yvon Haessig (men’s tennis), Julie Bell (women’s tennis), Talia Rojas (women’s tennis), Isabel von Stryk (women’s tennis), Emily Bingham (volleyball), Amanda Carroll (volleyball), Morgan Page (volleyball), Mindy Quimby (volleyball) and Emily Sanders (volleyball).
The A-Sun academic selections capped a strong academic year for Upstate. The Spartan student-athletes posted the two highest semester GPA marks in the history of the department in 2012-13, reaching 3.135 in the fall and 3.134 in the spring. Eight Spartans earned a perfect 4.0 GPA for the entire academic year. In addition, Gilbert Kemboi became the first Upstate student-athlete to earn the prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship and was named the A-Sun Male Student-Athlete of the Year.