K-State student-athletes named to Academic All-Big 12 teams

K-State Sports Information
Seniors Courtney Cook, Kaitlynn Pelger, Lilla Porubek and Courtney Traxson were joined by juniors Gina Madonia and Taylor Johnson as well as redshirt freshman Katie Brand on the First Team. Senior Dakota Kaufman and junior Chelsea Keating were selected to the Second Team. (Photo: K-State Athletics)

Kansas State University student-athletes again proved they could succeed in the classroom as well as on the field or on the court. Twenty-five cross country, football and volleyball student-athletes recently were named to Academic All-Big 12 teams.

A student-athlete must have at least a 3.0 GPA, either cumulative or from the previous two semesters, to be considered for the Academic All-Big 12 team, with student-athletes achieving a GPA of 3.2 or higher being considered for the First Team. A student-athlete must have also participated in 60 percent of a team’s scheduled contests. Senior student-athletes in their final year of athletic eligibility who have participated for a minimum of two years and meet all criteria except percent of participation are eligible. Freshman and transfer student-athletes are not eligible during the first year of academic residence. 

Cross Country

Five K-State cross country runners earned Academic All-Big 12 First Team honors. Four Wildcats received first team honors and one garnered second team honors.

Senior Fernando Roman was the lone men's team runner to be named to the All-Academic team. On the women's side, sophomore Mary Frances Donnelly, sophomore Paige Kochuyt, and junior Erika Schiller all were on the first team. Junior Laura Galvan earned second team honors. Galvan, Roman, and Schiller earned this honor for the second consecutive year, while Schiller and Roman were one of only 11 student-athletes with a 4.0 GPA.

Football
Led by seven first-team members, Kansas State saw 11 football players earn Academic All-Big 12 honors as the conference office announced its list of 138 recipients recently.

K-State’s first-team members included Jack Cantele (civil engineering), Will Davis (accounting and finance), Glenn Gronkowski (marketing), Weston Hiebert (agricultural economics), Zach Nemechek (pre-dentistry), Curry Sexton (marketing) and Stanton Weber (accounting).

Gronkowski, Nemechek and Weber were each nominated with 4.0 GPAs, which were the most by any team in the Big 12, while Nemechek and Sexton each picked up their third consecutive first-team accolade.

Second-team members included Tyler Lockett (management), Cornelius Lucas (marketing), Carl Miles (social sciences) and Keenan Taylor (family studies and human services).

The 2013 accolades marked the fourth time in the last five seasons the Wildcats had at least 10 academic all-conference honors. Since head coach Bill Snyder’s return in 2009, Kansas State has seen a considerable increase in Academic All-Big 12 honorees as the Wildcats have produced 59 accolades in the last five seasons, including 38 first-team honors.

Volleyball

The K-State volleyball team had a conference-best nine student-athletes named to the 2013 Academic All-Big 12 Team, matching the program record for a single season. Seven Wildcats were selected to the First Team, while five earned the Academic All-Big 12 selection for the first time in their careers. 

Seniors Courtney Cook, Kaitlynn Pelger, Lilla Porubek and Courtney Traxson were joined by juniors Gina Madonia and Taylor Johnson as well as redshirt freshman Katie Brand on the First Team. Senior Dakota Kaufman and junior Chelsea Keating were selected to the Second Team.

Cook, who has carried a 4.0 grade point average all four years at Kansas State, received her first Academic All-Big 12 nod. The senior, majoring in animal science and industry, is one of four Big 12 student-athletes nominated this season with a 4.0 GPA. 

For Johnson, Keating and Pelger, it also is their first Academic All-Big 12 honor. Madonia garnered her second award.

Brand is the first K-State freshman to be named to the Academic All-Big 12 team since Jenny Jantsch was selected in 2005. Majoring in kinesiology, Brand is the fourth Wildcat freshman in program history to be tabbed to the Academic All-Big 12 Team.

The Big 12 Conference named a total of 60 student-athletes to the 2013 Academic All-Big 12 Volleyball Team, including 51 First Team selections and 13 first-time honorees.

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