Twenty-four Eastern Kentucky University student-athletes earned the Ohio Valley Conference Academic Medal of Honor for the 2016-17 academic year, the league office announced on Wednesday.

Two EKU student-athletes earned the Medal of Honor in two sports, bringing the total number of selections to 26. All 24 Colonels posted a 4.0 grade-point-average (GPA) for the 2016-17 academic year.

The OVC Academic Medal of Honor is given annually to the student-athletes who achieve the highest grade-point-average in a conference-sponsored sport.

No OVC team had more honorees than the Eastern Kentucky University soccer and women’s track and field teams with six each.

Eastern’s 24 honorees were: Jacob Abbott (baseball), Nick Howie (baseball), Dillon Avare (men’s basketball), Alexus Cooper (women’s basketball), Hannabeth Owens (women’s golf), Samantha Eastes (soccer), Kacy Eckley (soccer), Larissa Heslop (soccer), Haley Kemper (soccer), Makenna Sullivan (soccer), Erin Torrence (soccer), Murphy McRoberts (softball), Alex Sallberg (softball), Kelly Wood (softball), Darrian Botts (women’s track & field), Katherine Grasberger (women’s track & field and cross country), Rachel Rehkamp (women’s track & field), Katelyn Richard (women’s track & field), Maryssa Stewart (women’s track & field), Haley Yost (women’s track & field and cross country), Katelynn Caserma-Kloeble (volleyball), Maria Ferragonio (volleyball), Chloe Rojas (volleyball) and Rachel Woody (volleyball).

EKU’s student-athletes had an outstanding year in the classroom. During the fall semester, 13 of 17 teams had a cumulative GPA above 3.0 and 63 percent of student-athletes had a GPA of 3.0 or higher. The cumulative GPA for student-athletes in the fall was 3.102, which tied for the second highest fall GPA on record. During the spring semester, student-athletes had a combined GPA above 3.0 for the 11th straight semester. The cumulative GPA for EKU student-athletes in the spring was 3.09, which is the second highest spring GPA on record.

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Kevin Britton
Assistant Athletics Director for Communications & Branding