Six runners pull in NAIA Scholar-Athlete honors

By Jake Knabel on Nov. 19, 2017 in Cross Country

NAIA Scholar-Athletes: Men | Women

SEWARD, Neb. – Six runners from second-year head coach Matt Beisel’s cross country squads were named 2017 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes by the NAIA on Friday (Nov. 17). The lone repeat selection is senior Emily Deschaine, who also qualified for the cross country national championships. First time NAIA Scholar-Athlete award winners include juniors Evan Asche, Taylor Grove, Jacy Johnston and Abby Protzman and senior Shelbi Hackbart.

In order to be nominated by an institution’s head coach or sports information director, a student-athlete must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale and must have achieved a junior academic status. A total of 351 women’s cross country and 254 men’s cross country student-athletes across the nation were named 2017 Scholar-Athletes by the NAIA.

Concordia University ranks as the NAIA’s all-time leader in number of Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes with 1,290 and counting. The Bulldogs have been a regular national leader for both scholar-athletes and scholar-teams and are coming off a 2016-17 academic year that resulted in 78 more scholar-athletes and 19 scholar-teams. The 2015-16 season produced a GPAC best 92 Bulldog scholar-athletes and a national best 20 NAIA Scholar-Teams. The 2014-15 season culminated with GPAC-leading totals of 94 Bulldog scholar-athletes and 17 NAIA Scholar-Teams. During the 2013-14 academic year, Concordia garnered 101 Scholar-Athlete honorees (most in the NAIA) and 17 NAIA Scholar-Teams (tied for fourth nationally).

2017 Cross Country Scholar-Athletes

Evan Asche, Jr. | Omaha, Neb. | Art Education
Emily Deschaine, Sr. | Frankenmuth, Mich. | Secondary Education
Taylor Grove, Jr. | Billings, Mont. | Exercise Science
Shelbi Hackbart, Sr. | Seward, Neb.
Jacy Johnston, Jr. | Westmoreland, Kan. | Secondary Ed / Business Administration
Abby Protzman, Jr. | Norfolk, Neb. | Business Communication / Administration