Kittleson
LC

INDIANAPOLIS -- Five previous winners, including a record setting three-time honoree, and two institutions with multiple winners highlight the Elite 89 awards from the NCAA 2012 spring championships.

Senior Kelsey Kittleson, a softball student-athlete at Luther, became the first student-athlete to be honored with an Elite 89 award three consecutive times in the same sport (Liz Phillips of Washington-St. Louis was the first to win the award three times, but between Division III women’s cross country and indoor track and field).

Of the remaining 35 student-athletes named as Elite 89 award winners, four others were honored for a second time at their respective sport championships, including: Bryan Chow, Williams, Division III men’s tennis; Kristen McGlynn, Adams State, Division II women’s outdoor track and field; Daniel Stapff, Barry, Division II men’s golf; and Miles Unterreiner, Stanford, Division I men’s outdoor track and field.

In addition, SUNY Cortland (Division III baseball and men’s and women’s lacrosse) featured three student-athletes named as award winners, while Alabama (Division I men’s golf and women’s tennis) featured two winners.

The Elite 89, an award founded by the NCAA, recognizes the true essence of the student-athlete by honoring the individual who has reached the pinnacle of competition at the national championship level in his or her sport, while also achieving the highest academic standard among his or her peers. The Elite 89 is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA’s 89 championships.

All GPAs are based on a straight grading scale to ensure consistency among institutions. All ties are broken by the number of credits completed.

Eligible student-athletes are sophomores or above who have participated in their sport for at least two years with their school. They must be an active member of the team, traveling and competing at the championship.

The 36 award winners by sport and division (I, II, III or National Collegiate), school and major of study and GPA are:

Sport (Division) Name School Major GPA
Baseball (I) Erik Payne South Carolina International Business and Insurance and Risk Management 3.897
Baseball (II) Benjamin Keller Minnesota State -Mankato Mechanical Engineering 4.000
Baseball (III) Zachary Badanes SUNY Cortland Biology 3.980
Men’s Golf (I) Cory Whitsett Alabama Management 3.984
Men’s Golf (II) ** Daniel Stapff Barry Finance 3.918
Men’s Golf (III) Michael Mortensen St. Thomas (Minn.) Actuarial Science 3.935
Women’s Golf (I) Kim Kaufman Texas Tech Political Science 4.000
Women’s Golf (II) Jenny Konop Indianapolis Biology 3.932
Women’s Golf (III) Vanessa Kleckner St. Olaf Biology 3.980
Men’s Lacrosse (I) Tyler Brenneman Notre Dame Economics and Political Science 3.782
Men’s Lacrosse (II) Todd Nakasuji Limestone Business 4.000
Men’s Lacrosse (III) Michael Tota SUNY Cortland Business Economics 3.951
Women’s Lacrosse (I) Heather Wentz Syracuse Newspaper 3.697
Women’s Lacrosse (II) Liz Wilson West Chester (Pa.) Special Education 3.934
Women’s Lacrosse (III) Jamie Flood Cortland Kinesiology 3.840
Rowing (I) Shelly Tremaglio Cornell History 3.957
Rowing (II) Megan Northey Western Washington Kinesiology  3.920
Rowing (III) Sarah Jane Otey Coast Guard Marine and Environmental Studies 3.973
Softball (I) Alex Boulet LSU Mathematics 3.986
Softball (II) Brianna Hancock Valdosta State  Accounting and Finance 3.950
Softball (III) *** Kelsey Kittleson  Luther  Biology 4.000
Men’s Tennis (I) Bruno Abdelnour Illinois  Mechanical Engineering 3.969
Men’s Tennis (II) Ji Hoon Heo Hawaii Pacific  International Studies 3.920
Men’s Tennis (III) * Bryan Chow Williams  Classics and Biology 3.938 
Women’s Tennis (I) Mary Anne Mcfarlane Alabama Human Performance and Exercise Science 3.994
Women’s Tennis (II) Tabtip Louhabanjong Indiana (Pa.) Foreign Language, Literatures and Linguistics 4.000
Women’s Tennis (III) Nandita Krishnan Johns Hopkins Public Health 3.860
Men’s Outdoor Track and Field (I) ** Miles Unterreiner Stanford History 3.960
Men’s Outdoor Track and Field (II) Dawson Vorderbruegge CSU Stanislaus English 3.937
Men’s Outdoor Track and Field (III) Timothy Layng Moravian  Biology 3.956
Women’s Outdoor Track and Field (I) Ryann Kraiss Kansas State Psychology 3.955
Women’s Outdoor Track and Field (II) * Kristen McGlynn Adams State English and Creative Writing 4.000
Women’s Outdoor Track and Field (III) Jaela Dinsmore  Willamette Latin America Studies and Spanish 3.989
Men’s Volleyball (NC) Ian Karbiener Lewis  Business Administration 3.907
Men’s Volleyball (III)   Steven Coniglio Baruch Actuarial Science 3.897
Women’s Water Polo (NC) Kiara Cerda Loyola Marymount Biology 3.950
* -- Repeat award winner | ** -- Two-time award winner | *** -- Three-time award winner


For more information on the Elite 89 award winners, click here.