Headline image courtesy of the CACC
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (May 29, 2017) -- Nearly 50 percent of Top XV Award honorees during the recently completed 2016-17 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Championship Season sported stellar 4.0 cumulative grade point averages to earn the prestigious award at their respective championship events. Seven of the 15 honorees achieved the perfect 4.0 mark to be recognized as the top student -- GPA wise -- at each finals site.
The CACC Top XV Award is modeled after the NCAA Elite 90 Award and is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the CACC championships.
The first five Top XV Award honorees during the fall season sported 4.0 marks, including Abbygail Gamarnik (women's tennis, University of the Sciences), Taurai Augustin (men's cross country, Holy Family University), Emily Brand (women's cross country, USciences), Sienna Smith (women's soccer, Holy Family) and Felix Gercke (men's soccer, Georgian Court University).
The spring season saw two more 4.0 marks posted by Top XV Award winners, including Smith, who won her second honor after competing for the Tigers at the 2017 CACC Women's Outdoor Track & Field Championship, and Nyack College's Finn Reese, who won it at the men's track championship. Like Smith, Reese too, is a two-sport star, as he plays on the men's soccer team for the Warriors.
Six other Top XV Award winners produced GPAs of 3.90-3.99, including Rachael Neilan (volleyball, Bloomfield College), Mike Louden (men's basketball, Philadelphia University), Kristen Drogsler (2017 women's basketball player of the year, Caldwell University), Ludvig Henrikson (men's tennis, Post University), Kaitlin Iavecchia (women's lacrosse, Chestnut Hill College) and Marissa Cammarano (softball, Post University). Louden and Cammarano were three-time winners of the award in their respective championships.
The remaining two award winners boasted equally impressive GPAs of 3.80-3.89, including Nick Nguyen (men's golf, Philadelphia) and Joseph Monaghan(baseball, Chestnut Hill). Nguyen won the award for the second-consecutive year, while Monaghan was a starting outfielder and pitcher for the Griffins, who advanced to this year's baseball championship final.
In order to be considered, the student-athlete must be at least a sophomore in academic and athletics standing as well as a member of the active roster. In the event of a tie, it is broken by the total number of credit hours earned. The award debuted in the 2013-14 season, and was named the Top XIV Award after the 14 championship sports the CACC offered. The award changed to the Top XV in 2014-15, as the conference expanded its championship offerings to 15 sports with the addition of men's track & field. The title will change to the Top XVI Award in 2017-18, as men's lacrosse becomes the 16th championship sport to be honored by the league.
Congrats to Finn!