258 UMaine athletes to be honored

Posted Feb. 11, 2009, at 2:57 a.m.

The University of Maine announced Tuesday it will honor a record 258 student-athletes for their performance in the class-room during 2008.

A total of 176 Black Bear student-athletes will be recognized as UMaine Scholar-Athletes for achieving a grade point average of 3.0 or better during 2008 or having a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. In addition, 82 first-year students will be honored as “Rising Stars” for earning a 3.0 or higher in their first semester at UMaine.

All winners will be recognized Feb. 15 at 10 a.m. at Wells Conference Center, where the recipients of the “M” Club Dean Smith Award will be announced.

The Scholar-Athlete program is in its 20th year, with 2,294 medallions having been presented. The awards are sponsored by the University of Maine Alumni Association, the University of Maine “M” Club, the University of Maine Foundation, the office of the president and the office of the provost.

“University of Maine athletics prides itself on academic and athletic excellence,” UMaine athletic director Blake James said in a press release. “This group truly exemplifies what it means to be student-athletes. They have excelled academically while competing at the highest level athletically.”

Student-athletes from each of the Black Bears’ 19 teams were recognized. The women’s track and field and cross country teams led the way with 36 hon-orees, followed by football (28) and men’s and women’s cross country with 22.

Winners will receive medal-lions colored bronze (first-time recipients), silver (two-time winners), golden (three-time honorees) and double gold (fourth-time achievers).

This year’s group of double gold recipients includes Lindsay Burlock of Caribou, a track and field athlete majoring in food science and nutrition); Jenna Balent of Conifer, Colo., (softball, nursing); Charles Therriault of Amherst, Mass., (cross country, parks recreation and tourism/biology) and Chelsea Thibeault of Oakland (track and field, journalism and psychology).

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