MIAC honors require athletics and academic commitments
Managing studies and various commitments is not an easy task.
However, this past fall, 40 Concordia College athletes juggled their passion for learning and athletics successfully. This non-stop dedication enabled them to be awarded Academic All-MIAC Honors.
According to sophomore cross country runner and award recipient Melissa Uhrich, to qualify for the award you must be in the top 25 percentile of the MIAC conference and be one of the top seven on the team.
Recipients are also required to have a GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale and must meet sport-specific requirements.
Junior soccer player Justin Flack received the title of Academic All-MIAC Honors for the second time this season.
Although Flack was able to juggle academics and soccer successfully, “my schedule was intense,” Flack said.
“It wasn’t an easy thing to do,” Flack said. “You really have to dedicate yourself to
do homework on the bus. You have a lot of late nights, sometimes I wouldn’t even start my homework until 8 or 9 p.m.”
Uhrich feels creating a balance between her social life and academic life enabled her to stay on track.
“My team is my social life, (so I) knock practice and my social life out at the same time,” Uhrich said. “(There is) study time, and practice gives me a break from academics.”
This year sophomore Olivia Wangensteen spent most of the volleyball season on the bench because of an injury. However, Wangensteen feels it gave her a new look at the game.
“I was able to see things from a new perspective,” Wangensteen said. “Through this I was able to help (my teammates).”
Junior golf player Amy Mireault has received the All-MIAC Honors during her entire college golfing career.
Although she is responsible for her own academic success, she is grateful for the support she has received from head coach Duane Siverson since her freshman year.
“It’s okay to come to practice late because coach (Siverson) knows that academics come first and then sports,” Mireault said. “He’s been good for moral support.”
Junior golfer Coy Papachek was not expecting to receive the award. Papachek classified his season as his “least successful year.” Despite his viewpoint, others felt he should be recognized for his athletic abilities.
“I feel like all the practice I put in (during) the summer coming into the season raises my expectations so it’s an honor (that) even on a bad year I can receive these honors,” Papachek said.
Since Urish has had some time to celebrate her recognition, she is already starting to plan her plan of attack for the upcoming season.
“(I will be) putting in more summer mileage (because) this creates a base to start out with” Uhrich said.
Although Flack wants to stay on top of his game during the off-season, the added bonus of doing off-season practice is that he gets to bond more with his fellow teammates.
“We play indoor soccer twice a week (in Olson),” Flack said. “We lift as a team three days a week and play in an indoor league off campus.”
All of the recipients of this award not only showed dedication to their academics, but put forth an equal amount of dedication to their sport of choice.
Through their hard work they have been recognized as one-of-a-kind athletes.
“It’s nice to know that all my hard work has paid off,” Mireault said. “It’s hard to do a sport with academics.”
Hello! My name is Allie Smeeth, I am currently a junior at Concordia. I am majoring in Multimedia Journalism and minoring in Communications. Throughout my time at Concordia I’ve been involved in Habitat For Humanity, the Concordian and am currently involved in the up and coming Family Weekend Committee. Other than doing school work, I enjoy reading, watching tv, and hanging out with my lovely fellow cobbers. I grew up in Germany and have lived in South Carolina, Nebraska and Minnesota for the past three years. After college I plan on going to grad school for communications and plan on working at a non-profit in the cities after I’ve completed graduate school.