PALATINE HILL -- The Lewis & Clark Pioneers had their track and field teams, tennis teams and baseball team receive academic accolades earlier this summer.
Track and Field
For at least the third straight year, the Pioneers men's and women's track and field teams received All-Academic Team recognition from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association, the organization announced last week.
Coached by Director of Cross Country and Track and Field Keith Woodard, the Pioneers women's team made the list with a 3.40 team grade-point average, while the men qualified with a 3.13 team GPA.
With official results still to be released, it is expected that seven women's student-athletes and four from the men's team will make Lewis & Clark's Spring 2017 Dean's List. On the women's side, the Pioneers were one of six Northwest Conference institutions to have a 3.40 or higher. Overall, eight NWC schools made the list.
Recently graduated senior Rachel Stone and rising senior Ryan Nguyen were both extended membership into the Pamplin Society of Fellows, the highest honor bestowed by Lewis & Clark on its students. Tatyana Benko, Blake Slattengren and Stone are also members of Phi Beta Kappa.
For the men's team, Lewis & Clark was one of five NWC institutions on the list. Overall, 291 teams were honored for their academics by the USTFCCCA including 185 women's teams.
A total of eight Pioneers student-athletes were selected as Intercollegiate Tennis Association Scholar-Athletes with the men's team earning All-Academic Team honors as well. The ITA announced the list last week.
With the third-most selections of any Northwest Conference institution, the men's team produced six winners including graduated seniors Brenden Barrows, Harrison Collins and Kei Inoue. All-NWC selection Raed Attia, a rising senior, made the list, as did Ryan Hayes and Will McDermott. Inoue, Hayes and McDermott are repeat winners from last year.
On the women's side, graduated seniors Christine Eliazo and Glenna Gee-Taylor made the list, with Gee-Taylor being a mainstay for the national recognition. Gee-Taylor is expected to make the Lewis & Clark Spring 2017 Dean's List, as are Hayes and Inoue.
"It was great to see our senior-laden teams really come through for us on both the court and in the classroom," said head coach Jimmy Chau. "We ask that our student-athletes challenge themselves in the toughest courses and to never take the easiest path."
In all, 735 teams and 4,328 student-athletes across all five divisions of college tennis were honored. The ITA All-Academic Team award is open to any ITA program that has a cumulative team grade-point average of 3.20 or above (on a 4.00 scale). All varsity letter winners were factored into the cumulative team GPA for the current academic year (including fall 2017 and spring 2018).
In order to earn ITA Scholar-Athlete status, a student-athlete must earn a varsity letter, have been enrolled for two semesters and have at least a 3.50 GPA for the current academic year.
Lewis & Clark's men's tennis team won the Team of the Year award at last April's Excellence in Lewis & Clark's Year of Sports awards (ELCYS), the team's second consecutive selection. The women's team was the 2015-16 winner.
"It was great to see them not only challenge themselves, but achieve great marks as well," said Chau. "Last year's teams were true champions."
Lewis & Clark's cross country, track and field and tennis programs have produced the college's only two Rhodes Scholar winners, Laura Provinzino and Tamma Carleton.
Lewis & Clark was the only Northwest Conference program to receive the American Baseball Coaches Association's Team Academic Excellence Award, the organization announced earlier this summer. The Pios made the list of 80 teams honored by the ABCA.
The Pioneers were expected to have seven student-athletes earn spots on the Spring 2017 Lewis & Clark Dean's List, the most of any intercollegiate athletics team on campus.
To earn the distinction, a program must have a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.00 on a 4.0 scale during the 2017-18 academic year. As a team, the Pios finished with a 3.22 GPA.
Last season was the first under head coach Matt Kosderka. The academic recognition is the first for the program in the last three years.