Jan. 7, 2010


INDIANAPOLIS---In the inaugural year of the Elite 88 award, the NCAA has named 22 student-athletes as award winners from the fall championships season.

The Elite 88, 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 88 is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA's 88 championships.

All GPA's 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 22 award winners by sport and division (I, II or III), school and major of study and GPA are:


Sport (Division)



Major (GPA)

Men's Cross Country (I)

Jeff Scull

Syracuse University

Nutrition (4.0)

Men's Cross Country (II)

Michael McCampbell

Southwest Baptist University

Biology (3.963)

Men's Cross Country (III)

Chris Platano


Willamette University

Economics (4.0)

Women's Cross Country (I)

Katherine Niehaus

Stanford University

Biomechanical Engineering (4.0)

Women's Cross Country (II)

Suzie Strickler

Seattle Pacific University

Exercise Science (4.0)

Women's Cross Country (III)

Katelyn Meger

The College of St. Scholastica

Nursing and Psychology (4.0)

Field Hockey (I)

Lauren Elstein

University of Virginia

Economics (N/A)

Field Hockey (II)

Kristen Brooks

Shippensburg University

Marketing and International Management (4.0)

Field Hockey (III)

Sarah Cannon

Tufts University

Mathematics (4.0)

Football (FCS)

Will Thompson

Villanova University

Accounting (3.97)

Football (II)

Alex Gilde 

Grand Valley State University

Biomedical Science (4.0)

Football (III)

Jay Carpenter

Mount Union College

Biology (3.915)

Men's Soccer (I)

Bill Dworsky

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Economics and Comparative Literature (4.0)

Men's Soccer (II)

Daniel St. Jacques

Le Moyne College

Communications (3.81)

Men's Soccer (III)

Nick Pugliese

Williams College


Political Science (4.0)

Women's Soccer (I)

Kristi Eveland

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Business Administration (3.93)

Women's Soccer (II)

Natalja Stanski

Grand Valley State University

Biomedical Science (4.0)

Women's Soccer (III)

Molly Bletz

Messiah College

Biology (4.0)

Women's Volleyball (I)

Stephanie Brandt

University of Hawai'i at Manoa

Sociology (3.859)

Women's Volleyball (II)

Kyleigh Turner

University of Indianapolis

Business Education (4.0)

Women's Volleyball (III)

Stephanie Strauss

Juniata College

Business Administration (4.0)

Men's Water Polo

Matthew Burton

University of Southern California

Communications (3.87)


For more information on the Elite 88 award winners, log on to NCAA.com/elite88.