GLVC Brother James Gaffney FSC Distinguished Scholar Award

A record 150 UMSL student-athletes earned Academic All-GLVC honors in the 2020-21 academic year including 19 who received the GLVC Brother James Gaffney FSC Distinguished Scholar Award for posting a 4.0 GPA throughout the year. (Graphic courtesy of UMSL Athletics)

The COVID-19 pandemic created challenges for student-athletes training and competing throughout the 2020-21 academic year, but teams at the University of Missouri–St. Louis continued to excel in the classroom.

The Great Lakes Valley Conference recognized a record 14 Tritons teams with Team Academic All-GLVC Awards for maintaining collective grade point averages of 3.30 or above throughout the academic year.

The success was a natural result of a record number 150 UMSL student-athletes garnering individual Academic All-GLVC distinction throughout the school year for posting a cumulative GPA of 3.30 or better across both semesters. The previous high was 144 student-athletes honored during the 2019-20 academic year.

“We are proud that our student-athletes continue to make academics a priority,” Director of Athletic Lori Flanagan said. “Despite the challenges created by the pandemic, they responded with another outstanding year in the classroom, highlighted by these academic achievements.”

Nineteen UMSL student-athletes were among 536 league-wide to earn the GLVC Brother James Gaffney FSC Distinguished Scholar Award. The award, named for the former Lewis University president, recognizes athletes who have a GPA of 4.0 during the academic year.

UMSL’s honorees include: Alex LaPorta and Faye Meissner, women’s basketball; Brandon DiMemmo, men’s golf; Sophie Faulkner, Momo Kikuchi and Manon Labeur, women’s golf; Arman Kovac and Max Wootten, men’s soccer; Emily Hanewinkel and Ayana Weissenfluh, women’s soccer; Mimi Bradley, Corinne Daley and Carlie Kudary, softball; Rebecca Bechtel, women’s swimming; Tara Erler, Maja Lietzau and Clara Lopez Bueno, women’s tennis; and Payton Kennelly and Charlotte Richards, volleyball.

In all, UMSL had 41 student-athletes with straight A’s in the academic year as the university uses a plus/minus system.

UMSL saw the largest increase in Team Academic All-GLVC Awards, up from eight in 2019-20. The Tritons teams honored were women’s tennis (3.91 GPA), women’s golf (3.90), volleyball (3.75), men’s tennis (3.64), softball (3.61), men’s golf (3.51), women’s swimming (3.48), women’s basketball (3.46), women’s soccer (3.38), men’s cross country (3.37), men’s track (3.37), women’s cross country (3.36), women’s track (3.36) and baseball (3.32).

The UMSL women’s tennis team posted the league’s overall second highest GPA, while women’s golf was third overall. Illinois Springfield’s women’s tennis team posted a league-high 3.94 GPA.

The combined GPA for all UMSL student-athletes was 3.45, and the athletic department has now had 16 consecutive semesters posting at least a 3.0 combined GPA – 13 straight at a 3.1 or better and nine straight of a 3.2 or higher.

The GLVC also recognizes student-athletes who exhaust their eligibility while maintaining at least a 3.5 GPA throughout their academic career with the GLVC Council of Presidents’ Academic Excellence Award. To be eligible, the student-athlete must have competed in the GLVC for a minimum of two years and completed 96 credit hours. A student-athlete can only earn the distinguished honor one time in his or her career.

A total of 14 UMSL student-athletes earned the GLVC Council of Presidents’ Academic Excellence Award: John Hilpert and Josh Shoemaker, baseball; Kyra Hungerford, women’s basketball; Trevor Kosch and Miguel Maisterra, men’s golf; Kyle Coleman, Anton Mukhin and Max Wootten, men’s soccer; Emily Hanewinkel, Amber Hayes and Sarah Lyon, women’s soccer; Carlie Kudary, softball; Marina Prediger, women’s tennis; and Payton Kennelly, volleyball.

Wootten was also one of 16 student-athletes from seven member institutions to meet the highest standard of academic excellence by concluding their collegiate career with an unblemished 4.0 cumulative GPA.

Steve Walentik

Steve Walentik