June 27, 2011
STANFORD, Calif. -
Stanford boasted four student-athletes, the highest of any Pac-10 school, on the list of the Pac-10's 2011 Spring Scholar-Athletes of the Year, presented by Toyo Tires. Elliott Heath (men's track and field), Kate Niehaus (women's track and field), Erika Roddy (women's rowing) and Alex Syverson (men's rowing) were the Cardinal award winners.
Additional spring sport winners were Chris Metzger (USC, baseball), Jack Dukeminier (Oregon, men's golf), Pia Halbig (California, women's golf), Jaak Poldma (USC, men's tennis), Venise Chan (Washington, women's tennis) and Lesley Rogers (Arizona State, softball).
The Pac-10 Scholar-Athlete of the Year, presented by Toyo Tires awards have been established to honor collegiate student-athletes that are standouts both academically and in their sports discipline.
In order to be eligible for the Pac-10 Scholar-Athlete of the Year award, student-athletes must be a senior (in athletics eligibility) on track to receive a degree, have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher, participate in at least 50 percent of the scheduled contests in the sport and have a minimum of one year in residence at the institution. Each Pac-10 institution may nominate one individual per sport, and the winners are selected by a committee of Pac-10 staff members at the conclusion of each sport's regular season. The athletic accomplishments of the nominees are a consideration in the voting for the award.
A Scholar-Athlete of the Year is named in each of the Pac-10's 22 sponsored sports: baseball, men's basketball, women's basketball, men's cross country, women's cross country, football, men's golf, women's golf, women's gymnastics, men's rowing, women's rowing, men's soccer, women's soccer, softball, men's swimming & diving, women's swimming & diving, men's tennis, women's tennis, men's track & field, women's track & field, women's volleyball, and wrestling.
Scholar-Athletes of the Year in each sport will receive a commemorative award. Toyo® will donate $1,000 to the scholarship funds of the institution's athletic department of each winner in recognition of their accomplishments.
Both Heath and Niehaus were honored on their respective sports' Capitol One Academic All-America Team, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) in 2011.
A two-time qualifier for the NCAA Track and Field Outdoor Championships meet, Niehaus is a graduate student working on her master's degree in bioengineering with a perfect 4.00 grade-point average.
For Heath, the announcement marks his second Pac-10 Scholar-Athlete of the Year honor of the 2010-11 season, as he captured the men's cross country award as well. The 2011 NCAA 3,000 meters indoor champion, Heath has a 3.57 GPA as a mechanical engineering major. A native of Winona, Minn., he was a seven-time All-American for the Cardinal and set the school's indoor record in the 5,000 meters at the 2011 Husky Classic. Heath earned second-team All-America honors at the 2011 NCAA Outdoor Meet. Named as the 2010 Pac-10 Cross Country Athlete of the Year, he ranks fourth all-time in both the 3,000-meter indoor run and 5,000-meter outdoor run.
Roddy, the 2009 Pac-10 Women's Rowing Athlete of the Year, boasts a 3.83 grade-point average and earned her degree in human biology in 2011. Roddy was a member of Stanford's I Eight boat that earned NCAA silver in 2008, gold in 2009 and bronze in 2011. The San Francisco native was named to the CRCA Pocock All-America First Team in 2011, her second All-America honor, as she helped lead Stanford to the team silver at the NCAA Championships.
Syverson, a member of Stanford's men's I Eight, was named to the All-Pac-10 Team in 2011 as part of the Cardinal's I Eight that captured the bronze medal at the Pac-10 Championships. Syverson boasts a 3.70 grade-point average while earning his degree in economics.
The four spring selections give Stanford a total of eight Pac-10 Scholar-Athlete of the Year awards, and seven recipients over the 2010-11 athletic season. Additional winners from the fall and winter sports included Bobby Warshaw (men's soccer), Kelsey Ditto (women's swimming) and Kayla Pedersen (women's basketball).