COLLEGE STATION, Texas- Texas A&M baseball player Matt Ueckert (Houston) and volleyball player Christi Hahn (Leander) were named the Bill Erwin Scholar-Athletes of the Year on Wednesday at the 17th-annual CHAMPS Awards Banquet held at The Zone Club in Kyle Field.
Ueckert has accumulated a grade-point average (GPA) above 3.81 and will graduate in two weeks with a degree in political science. As a left-handed pitcher for the last two years on the A&M baseball team, he has compiled a 5-2 mark, recording a 3.63 ERA in 57 innings of work.
Hahn, a two-time Academic All-American, has compiled a perfect 4.0 GPA over her four years and has been named the Gathright Scholar Academic Excellence Award winner (as the top student in her class in the College of Education) each of the last three academic years. Hahn, who is scheduled to graduate in May of 2008 with a degree in kinesiology/motor behavior, ranked second in the Big 12 in hitting percentage this season (.373) and led the team in points per game (4.13).
A total of 427 student athletes and student support staff were honored for posting a GPA of 3.0 or higher during one or both semesters of the 2006 calendar year. Of those, 89 earned Verizon Outstanding Athletics Scholar Awards for posting a 4.0 GPA for one or both semesters.
Consensus first team All-American men's basketball player Acie Law IV (Dallas) and 2006 NCAA outdoor 400-meter track and field champion Clora Williams (St. Ann, Jamaica) were honored as the Distinguished Letterman's Award Winners. The awards are given to the top male and female athletes who have demonstrated outstanding athletic performance and have acted in a manner that has brought credit to student-athletes, Texas A&M University, and intercollegiate athletics.
The women's golf and men's tennis teams were recognized for having the highest team GPAs in the department. In addition to those two, the equestrian, soccer, softball, women's swimming and diving, women's tennis, and volleyball teams were all recognized for having team GPA's above 3.0 for one or both semesters in the past year.
Freshman Merideth Snow (Eureka, Mo.), a member of both the women's cross country and track and field teams, was named the State Farm Freshman Female Athlete of the Year. The award is presented to the freshman athlete who has demonstrated potential through their actions and accomplishments on the field and in the classroom.
Quarterback T.J. Sanders (Goddard, Kan.) and distance runner Chandler (Self) Rainey (Rockwall) were awarded Prentice Gautt post-graduate scholarships. To be eligible, a student athlete must have a cumulative GPA above 3.5 on a 4.0 scale and be enrolled in graduate school within 15 months after graduation. Each recipient must have participated in their sport for at least two seasons as well.
Men's tennis player Jerry Makowski (Bradenton, Fla.) was presented with the Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar Award for the second year in a row.
In the community service award categories, the Outstanding Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) Award went to women's tennis player Nicki Mechem (Fredericksburg). Softball player Lindsay Park (Arcadia, Calif.) was named Aggie Athletes Involved Most Valuable Person, while women's swimmer Meghan Nebera (Brentwood, Tenn.) was named Outstanding Committee Chair for AAI as well.
Earning Chick-Fil-A Community Champion Awards were baseball player Parker Dalton (Houston), men's golfer Matt Van Zandt (Houston) and women's basketball player Katy Pounds (Shallowater). Pounds also earned a regional Coca-Cola Community All-American award.
The Aggie Cup, awarded to the team which scores the most points in a year-long academic competition based on the five NCAA Life Skills Areas (Academics, Community Service, Personal Development, Career, Athletics), was won by the women's basketball team.
The Award of Excellence, which is given to a staff member with a minimum of five years of service for dedication and support of student-athletes, was presented to Texas A&M Director of Athletics Bill Byrne.
The Cleo Whitlock Award, given to a person outside the athletic department who has gone above and beyond in his or her support of Texas A&M Athletics, was bestowed upon Danny van der Hoeven. Van der Hoeven was recognized as an avid member of the Aggie Soccer Hooligans and Mitchell Maniacs (tennis). He also ranks No. 14 in the 2006-07 12th Man Team Rewards standings having attended 96 athletics events this year.
Also recognized in the program were the CHAMPS 101 teaching assistants from this past year. The CHAMPS 101 course is a class required for all first-year student-athletes. TA's recognized were baseball player Kyle Parcus (McKinney), men's basketball players Josh Johnston (Lumberton), Joseph Jones (Normangee) and Acie Law IV, soccer players Madison Klovstad (Orange, Calif.), Ashlee Pistorius (Bloomington, Ill.), and Julie Spearink (Loughborough, England), softball player Lindsay Park, women's tennis player Marisa Druss (Austin), and women's swimmers Meghan Nebera and Rebecca Sturdy (Anacortes, Wash.).
The majority of the awards were sponsored by Verizon and Texas A&M University.