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Swimming, track, gymnastics earn academic honors

Amanda McClain

Amanda McClain

Amanda McClain has been named the 2016-2017 Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) Elite 18 Award recipient for the Women’s Indoor Track & Field Championship.

The Elite 18 Award Program was established by the MVC in fall 2010 to honor the highest achievement in academics and athletics by a student-athlete in each MVC-sponsored sport. Modeled after the NCAA Elite 88 Academic Recognition Award Program, the MVC Elite 18 award is presented to the student-athlete that earns All-MVC recognition and also holds the highest cumulative grade-point average at each of the MVC’s 18 team championships.

McClain scored a total of 22.5 points at the 2017 MVC Indoor Championships, as she won the women’s long jump and 400-meter dash and ran a leg in the Valley Champion 4×400-meter relay. This season alone, McClain has earned two MVC Scholar-Athlete of the Week honors. She owns a 3.92 grade-point average (GPA) as a biological science major.

McClain is the second Illinois State women’s track and field student-athlete to achieve this award and the third from both the men and women’s teams. Elise Sigg, B.S.N. ’14, was the first women’s track and field student-athlete to be receive the Elite 18 Award during the 2011–2012 season at the indoor championships. J.D. LaFayette was the first male recipient for Illinois State to receive the award, as he earned the honor at the 2016 indoor track and field championships.

A total of 11 members of Illinois State’s swimming and diving team have been named to the Missouri Valley Conference’s Scholar-Athlete Team. Representing Illinois State on the team were Casey Balson, Molly Hill, Rachel Holm, Yvette Kruk, Karley Licking, Laura Paskoff, Rachel Root, Savannah Rubocki, Alyssa Swanson, Kelsey Toland, and Kristin Verkler.

The Redbirds honored were among a record 77 Valley student-athletes recognized. Southern Illinois led all Valley teams with 20 selections.

A total of 15 ISU gymnasts were named Midwest Independent Conference Academic All-Conference Team. These athletes were honored at the MIC Championships banquet, which was hosted by Illinois-Chicago at UIC Pavilion.

Those that represented Illinois State and were named MIC Academic All-Conference were: Alyssa Bossle, Kristyn Bossle, Megan Knoernschild, Meredith LaRoche, Katherine Locher, Anna Marema, Kylie Meyer, Demi Pas, Marissa Piper, Sarah Pollman, Marie Priest, Jessica Rothman, Madison Solka, Samantha Ward and Alyssa Wiggle.

Illinois State women’s basketball standout Taylor Stewart was named a 2017 Missouri Valley Conference Women’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete Honorable Mention. Stewart, who is set to graduate in May, has a 3.42 grade-point average in psychology and is a member of the AFNI Honor Roll at Illinois State.

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