UC Irvine Athletics honored 113 student-athletes at the annual Salute To Scholar-Athletes banquet recently at the Bren Events Center.
The Scholar-Athlete award was implemented by the Big West Conference to honor those student-athletes who have maintained a high level of scholastic excellence while participating in intercollegiate athletics. UCI expanded the award to include teams that do not participate in Big West-sponsored sports.
Honorees must maintain a 3.0 grade-point average over the previous three quarters or a 3.2 GPA over two quarters for freshmen and transfer students, and must letter in their sports.
UCI also honored several individuals. Charles Jock was recognized as the Lauds & Laurels Outstanding Student-Athlete, the most prestigious award given by the UCI Alumni Assn. Jock was recently named Big West Track Athlete of the Year for the third consecutive year and is a three-time All-American. He won the 800 meters in 1 minute, 45.59 seconds at the NCAA Championships and will compete in the Olympic Trials beginning Friday at the University of Oregon.
Senior track athlete Amber Middleton garnered UCI Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors. Middleton, who was the Big West runner-up in both the 100 and 400 hurdle events, advanced to the NCAA West Regional preliminary round. The sociology major was a member of UCI's school-record 4x400 relay team (3:42.25).
Baseball player Crosby Slaught was honored as the UCI Male Scholar Athlete of the Year. Slaught, a social sciences major, finished his career on the mound with a 23-10 record in 49 starts.
Baseball player D.J. Crumlich was recognized after being honored in March as UCI's Big West Male Scholar Athlete of the Year. The senior shortstop was tabbed Big West Defensive Player of the Year along with being named second-team all-conference. He led the team with a .324 batting average and paced the Anteaters with 39 runs scored. The business economics major has also been named to the Big West Academic all-conference team.
Soccer player Lexi Kopf was named UCI's Big West Female Scholar Athlete of the Year in March. The senior ended her career at UCI ninth all-time in goals, (20) and 11th in points (44). Kopf, who was a member of the UCI teams that made NCAA appearances the last two years, was named first-team all-conference in 2011 and to the Big West All-Academic Team. She graduated recently with degrees in biology and psychology and social behavior.
Track hurdler Jacob Yowell and women's water polo player Katie Croghan were awarded the UCI Academic Achievement Award by the UCI admissions office.
Women's tennis player Stephanie Hammel received the Athletics Leadership Award.
The women's golf team earned the Faculty Athletic Representative Award for highest team GPA.
UCI also honored student-athletes with Class Performance Awards. They are: Cami Privette, the Big West Freshman of the Year in women's soccer (Outstanding Freshman Performance); Jillian Yocum, women's water polo (second in NCAA Tournament saves); Will Davis, men's basketball (set school single-game and single-season blocked shots records).
The Outstanding Sophomore Performance went to Natalie Ledezma, first-team all-conference in women's soccer; Andrew Thurman, first-team all-conference in baseball; and Mitch Wise, third-team All-American in men's water polo.
Outstanding Junior Performance honorees were: Jessy Cardey, Big West Player of the Year in women's water polo; Ericka Nowell, Big West champion in the 400 hurdles in track and field; and Kevin Tillie, first-team All-American for the men's volleyball national champion.
Outstanding Senior Performance award winners were: CoCo Goodson, second-team All-American in women's soccer; Carson Clark, first-team All-American in men's volleyball; Miguel Ibarra, first-team All-American in men's soccer; and Jock, the Big West Track Athlete of the Year.
2011-12 scholar-athletes are:
Baseball: Ryan Cooper, D.J. Crumlich, Jordan Fox, Andy Lines, Jimmy Litchfield, Dillon Moyer, Jonathan Munoz, Ronnie Shaeffer, Crosby Slaught, Taylor Sparks, Connor Spencer, Mark Trentacosta and Matt Whitehouse.
Men's basketball: Adam Folker.
Men's cross country: Brennen Halliday, Ryan McMonigle and Trevor Smith.
Men's golf: Mickey Chan and Pete Fernandez.