April 24, 2007
LOGAN, Utah -
Utah State's athletics department recognized 148 student-athletes and three managers and student trainers for achieving a 3.2 grade point average at the 52nd annual Joe E. and Elma Whitesides Scholar-Athlete Luncheon on Tuesday. To be eligible for the honor, student-athletes must have a cumulative 3.2 grade point average or have posted a 3.2 GPA during the last two semesters.
The top two honorees during the luncheon were gymnast Rachael Mandy and soccer player Sierra Smith, who were recognized as the Joe E. Whitesides Award recipients. It is just the third time in the 52-year history of the event that the top honor was shared. In 1994 Haley Houtchens-Lindhardt and Lori Loudner, both gymnasts, were selected for their outstanding academic work, while tennis player Carolyn Stephens and track and field athlete Crystal Thisselle shared the honor in 2005.
Mandy, a senior from Fargo, N.D., was a three-time academic all-conference selection, while earning a 3.91 GPA in human resource management. During her Utah State career, she helped USU win the 2005 Western Gymnastics Conference Championship. This past season she served as a graduate student-assistant for student-athlete services.
Smith, a senior from Salt Lake City, Utah, has posted a 3.91 GPA while majoring in exercise science and was one of 11 players from the WAC to be recognized with the National Soccer Coaches Association/adidas student-athlete academic award this past fall. During her senior season, she helped Utah State to a 10-8-2 record and a second-seed in the 2006 Western Athletic Conference Tournament as USU recorded a 5-0-2 league mark.
Twelve of the past 13 recipients of the top individual honor have been women as the only male in that time to win the award was Mike Puzey from men's basketball in 2003.
Utah State also handed out team honors as the men's tennis team was named the top academic team with less than 20 members, while the women's track team was the top academic team with more than 20 members. Four squads tied for the most improved team academically in men's golf, men's tennis, women's tennis, and volleyball.
Track athlete Dasheek Akwenye was presented the Aggie Achievement Award for overcoming injuries, dealing with eligibility issues, and most recently the passing of his father.
The athletics department also honored Taya Flores and Lacey Bryant for their contributions to USU's student-athletes. Flores, who is a scholarship counselor in the financial aid office, received the Meet The Challenge Award, while Bryant received the Outstanding Tutor Award.
The Whitesides honors started in 1953 by former USU athlete, coach and athletics director Joe E. Whitesides.
2007 UTAH STATE WHITESIDES SPECIAL HONORS Whitesides Winner - Rachael Mandy, Gymnastics; Sierra Smith, Women's Soccer Aggie Achievement - Dasheek Akwenye, Men's Track Meet The Challenge - Taya Flores Outstanding Tutor - Lacey Bryant
Top Teams (20 + members) 1. Women's Track 2. Women's Soccer 3. Men's Track
Top Teams (less than 20 members) 1. Men's Tennis 2. Gymnastics & Women's Cross Country 3. Volleyball
Most Improved Teams 1. Men's Golf, Men's Tennis, Women's Tennis, Volleyball 2. Men's Track 3. Gymnastics
Watch Live: Maverik Stadium...
Check out all the latest footage surrounding the Maverik Stadium Redevelopment Project.05/19/2015
Only One Week Left to...
LOGAN, Utah - Utah State head volleyball coach Grayson DuBose and members of the 2015 volleyball ...07/29/2015
Utah State Golfer Tanner...
Utah State junior golfer Tanner Jenson finished tied for 43rd overall at the 2015 HealthONE...07/27/2015
Utah State Football Heading...
Utah State football will be participating in the Mountain West Conference's annual Media Days,...07/27/2015
2015 USU Football Media...
The 2015 Utah State football media guide is now available online and is available to view/downloa...07/23/2015
Utah State Finishes Second ...
LOGAN, Utah - Utah State finished second in the Mountain West Conference in 2014-15 as 250...07/22/2015
Utah State Has 97 Student-A...
LOGAN, Utah - The Mountain West Conference announced its 2014-15 Scholar-Athlete Award recipients...07/22/2015
Utah State's Seokwon Jeon...
Utah State senior golfer Seokwon Jeon continued his busy summer of playing amateur golf by...07/20/2015
Student-Athlete of the WeekChari HawkinsSport: Women's Track & Field
Class: SeniorChari Hawkins Named America First Credit Union USU Student-Athlete of the Week.
Official Aggie Gear