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Courtesy: CAA
UNCW's Kosta Blank

CAA Names Spring Scholar-Athlete Award Winners

Courtesy: CAA
          Release: 06/19/2013
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RICHMOND, Va. (June 19, 2013) – Eleven student-athletes who were among the best in their sports both athletically and academically have been honored by the Colonial Athletic Association as recipients of the CAA Scholar-Athlete Award for the spring sports season.

The conference honors one Scholar-Athlete in each of its 22 championship sports. Nominees for the award must be a starter or important reserve on their team and must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.25. The winners were selected by a vote of the media relations directors at each CAA institution.

Earning Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors were Hofstra senior Joe Burg in baseball, William & Mary senior Jeremy Wells in men’s golf, Xavier senior Breanna Patz in women’s golf, Massachusetts senior Jake Smith in men’s lacrosse, Hofstra senior Jill Maier in women’s lacrosse, Northeastern senior Katherine Halbig in rowing, Hofstra senior Olivia Galati in softball, UNCW senior Kosta Blank in men’s tennis, James Madison senior Katherine Bulling in women’s tennis, William & Mary senior Alex McGrath in men’s track and field, and James Madison senior Katie Gorman in women’s track and field.

Here is a brief biographical sketch on the award winners:

Joe Burg, Sr., Lindenhurst, Ill./Carmel – Hofstra (baseball)

A senior with a double major in physics and math and a minor in astronomy, Burg was selected to the Capital One Academic All-America first team for baseball in 2013. He was a 2012 Rhodes Scholar finalist and was a finalist for the NCAA Walter Byers Scholarship. Burg received the James M. Shuart Award as Hofstra’s top Male Scholar-Athlete, Hofstra’s Outstanding Senior Scholar Award in recognition of his grade point average and the Outstanding Graduating Mathematics Senior Award.  On the field this season, the Pride pitcher was tied for the team lead in wins with a 3-4 mark. He made 14 appearances, including 12 starts, and had 37 strikeouts in 62.1 innings.

Jeremy Wells, Sr., Hopewell, Va./St. Christopher’s – William & Mary (men’s golf)

A senior majoring in business marketing, Wells is a four-time recipient of the CAA Commissioner’s Academic Award. He was a William & Mary Provost Award winner in 2010. On the course, Wells earned first-team All-CAA honors this season after making the All-CAA second team in 2011 and 2012. He placed third at the 2013 CAA Championship and was named to the All-Tournament squad. Wells captured the Whiting Turner Towson Invitational this season and had four top-five finishes and seven top-20 finishes. His scoring average of 72.81 was the second-best season mark in school history and he ranks third at W&M with a 74.49 career scoring average.

Breanna Patz, Sr., Plainfield, Ind./Avon – Xavier (women’s golf)

A senior majoring in accounting, Patz is a three-time NGCA All-America Scholar Award recipient and has made the Dean’s List in all eight semesters. This year she received Xavier’s Academic Excellence Award, the Achieving Senior Award and the Athletic Director’s Award. On the course, Patz was named to the All-CAA second team for the third time in 2013. She received All-Tournament accolades after posting a fourth-place finish at the 2013 CAA Championship. She carded a pair of top-five finishes and three top-10 finishes during the 2012-13 campaign.

Jake Smith, Sr., Medfield, Mass./Medfield – Massachusetts (men’s lacrosse)

A senior who is majoring in sports management, Smith was a USILA Scholar All-American in 2013. He was also chosen as the New England Lacrosse Association Senior Scholar-Athlete of the Year, the UMass Senior Scholar-Athlete of the Year and the UMass Male Spring Scholar-Athlete of the Year. On the field, Smith earned USILA All-America accolades for the second year in a row. He also made the All-CAA first team and the All-New England first team. The UMass defender recorded 26 ground balls and 17 caused turnovers this season. His 54 career caused turnovers are the most of any active UMass defender.

Jill Maier, Sr., Honeoye Falls, N.Y./Honeoye Falls-Lima – Hofstra (women’s lacrosse)

A senior with a double major in English and early childhood and childhood education, Maier is a repeat winner of the Scholar-Athlete Award. She is a six-time member of the Hofstra Provost’s List (4.0 GPA), was named to the IWLCA Academic Squad in 2012 and received the Sylvia Giallombardo Female Scholar Athlete Award as Hofstra’s top female scholar-athlete in 2012. On the field, Maier scored 15 goals and had 27 draw controls in 2013 despite being limited to 10 games due to injury. She finished her career with 96 goals, 112 points and 128 draw controls. She was a first-team All-CAA honoree in 2011.  

Katherine Halbig, Sr., Saratoga, N.Y./Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake – Northeastern (rowing)

A senior majoring in behavioral neuroscience, Halbig made the Dean’s List at Northeastern five times and earned NU’s Top Dog Award in the spring of 2013. She is a four-time CAA Commissioner’s Academic Award recipient. A four-year member of the Huskies’ rowing squad, Halbig earned first-team All-CAA honors in 2013. She sat stroke seat for the Varsity Eight team that placed second in the CAA Championship and advanced to the Grand Final at the Eastern Sprints. Halbig was a member of NU’s CAA title teams in 2011 and 2012.

Olivia Galati, Sr., West Babylon, N.Y./St. John the Baptist – Hofstra (softball)

A senior majoring in physical education, Galati earns the Scholar-Athlete award in softball for the third consecutive year. She earned a spot on the Capital One Academic All-America softball team in 2013. On the field, Galati received second-team All-America honors after making the All-America first team a year ago. A four-time CAA Pitcher of the Year, Galati posted a 40-12 record this season and led the nation with 22 shutouts. She was the only 40-game winner in the nation and led the Pride to a CAA championship and a berth in the NCAA Regional finals. Galati struck out 395 batters over 341 innings this season.

Kosta Blank, Sr., Winnipeg, Canada/Rothberg – UNCW (men’s tennis)

A senior majoring in business management/information systems, Blank was selected to the Capital One Academic All-District first team in 2013. He was the recipient of the Chancellor’s Cup as UNCW’s top student-athlete and is a four-time Golden Seahawk Award honoree and six-time member of the Dean’s List. On the court, Blank earned first-team All-CAA accolades in singles and doubles while helping lead the Seahawks to a CAA championship and into the second round of the NCAA Championship. He was 15-5 in singles and was ranked #22 in the nation in doubles after compiling a 13-5 mark. His 61 career doubles victories are the most in UNCW history and his 57 singles wins are the fourth-most at the school.

Katherine Bulling, Sr., Loveland, Ohio/Cincinnati Hills Christian Acad. – James Madison (women’s tennis)

A senior who is double majoring in English and history, Bulling was chosen to the Capital One Academic All-America at-large third team in 2013. She was selected as JMU’s Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year for the second year in a row and was named an ITA Scholar-Athlete for the third time. On the court, Bulling received third-team All-CAA accolades in 2013 after posting an 18-8 record in singles. She was also 12-4 in doubles and earned second-team All-CAA honors. Bulling compiled a 66-39 singles record in her JMU career and was also a second-team All-CAA pick in 2011.

Alex McGrath, Sr., Marlborough, N.H./ConVal Regional – William & Mary (men’s track & field)

A senior double majoring in international relations and global studies, McGrath is a Fulbright Scholar. He is a four-time member of the USTFCCC All-Academic team and was also the CAA Scholar-Athlete of the Year in men’s cross country. On the track, McGrath placed second in both the 5,000 meters and 10,000 meters at the 2013 CAA Track & Field Championship. He was ranked 13th in the East Region in the 5,000 meters this season after posting a time of 13:55 at the Mt. Sac meet. McGrath was the CAA champion  in the 10,000 meters in 2011 and in the 5,000 meters in 2012.

Katie Gorman, Sr., Lafayette Hill, Pa./Plymouth-Whitemarsh – James Madison (women’s track & field)

A senior majoring in kinesiology, Gorman was selected to the Capital One Academic All-District first team. She was a finalist for the JMU Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year award in 2013, made the President’s List (3.9+ GPA) four times and was also the CAA Scholar-Athlete of the Year in women’s cross country. Gorman earned All-CAA accolades after a third-place finish in the 10,000 meters at the 2013 CAA Championship. At the Navy Indoor Invitational, she set a facility record in winning the 5,000 meters. In her career, Gorman has garnered All-CAA accolades three times in cross country and three times in track and field.