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Softball tops in conference, Barton Student-Athletes earn fifty-five national academic honors

Barton Academic Honors graphic

The conclusion of the 2015-16 school year brought awards and honors for the Athletic Department of Barton Community College.  In a recent release from the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) office, Barton Community College student-athletes received fifty-five NJCAA Academic Student-Athlete Awards, formerly known as the NJCAA's Academic All-American award.  The Cougars awards were amongst the NJCAA record 4,587 student-athletes honored for their 3.60 grade point average or better in the classroom.   

Nine Cougars joined a national record 656 other nation-wide recipients earning the Pinnacle Award for Academic Excellence, the highest academic award given by the NJCAA achieving a 4.0 GPA.  Two each came from the baseball, softball, tennis, and track and field programs with the other coming from the volleyball program.  Barton brought home nineteen of the NJCAA's second highest honor of Superior Academic Achievement for obtaining a 3.80-3.99 GPA with twenty-five more honors falling in the 3.6-3.79 range to garner Exemplary Academic Achievement.

In addition to the individual awards, ten Barton Athletic teams received honorable mention academic achievement attaining a cumulative 3.0 or above grade point average.  

Eleven softball team members of the fifty-five individual honors grabbed the Athletic Department high honors contributing to a combined nation's fourth best 3.63 grade point average.  Setting school records with a 51-8 season, the Cougars off-the-field accomplishments were also impressive capturing the top spot in the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference (KJCCC).

Close behind their female diamond counterparts, the baseball team had ten Cougars making the national academic combining for a 3.25 GPA ranking twenty-fourth in the nation.  The volleyball team, who finished second to the softball team in athletic department GPA honors with a 3.54, came in 16th in the nation with five players making the national list.  The tennis program had three on the list with two more coming from the men's soccer program, while the men's and women's basketball programs each had one.

Combining the cross country athletes into the entire track and field program, seventeen individual honors were recognized including two individuals achieving a perfect 4.0 GPA.  The track and field teams did well nationally led by the 3rd placing from the 3.50 GPA from the women's cross country team with the women's track and field teams also ranked high in the nation with a 3.16 GPA placing fourth in the indoor season and sixth in the outdoor season.  

Also cracking the top ten team nationally came from the golf program led by the men's ninth placing with a 3.42 GPA while the women finished tenth with a 3.39 GPA.   Each of the squads placed three on the national list including two Superior honors and four landing on the Exemplary list.

List of Barton's NJCAA Academic Student-Athlete Awards

Pinnacle Award for Academic Excellence (4.0 GPA):

Cole Hardin (Men's Tennis)
Drake Bliss (Baseball)
Idah Longwe (Women's Tennis)
Kaylie Doll (Softball)
Kelsie Doll (Softball)
Olivia Naccarato (Volleyball)
Trey Pittman (Baseball)
Mariah Stein (Women's Cross Country, Indoor Track & Field, Outdoor Track & Field)
Leandra Russell (Women's Cross Country)

Superior Academic Achievement Award (3.80-3.99):

Brant Millerborg (Baseball)
Brittany Wood (Softball)
Cadie O'Donnell (Softball)
Caitlin Molyneux (Softball)
Corrigan Bartlett (Baseball)
Ezekiel Charles (Men's Basketball)
Hannah Beam (Volleyball)
Jayden Gonzales (Softball)
Leah Fisher (Softball)
Mason Hightower (Baseball)
Megan Jirak (Volleyball & Women's Basketball)
Ryan Schippers (Baseball)
Vinicius Monteiro (Men's Soccer)
Janae Champlin (Women's Golf)
Jared Oelke (Men's Golf)
Alfredo Smith (Indoor Track & Field, Outdoor Track & Field)
Widline Lageroy (Indoor Track & Field, Outdoor Track & Field)

Exemplary Academic Achievement Award:

Alan Clark (Baseball)
Amanda Evans (Softball)
Chasity Ward (Softball)
Colton Zink (Baseball)
Daniel Kohl (Baseball)
Emily Jacobs (Softball)
Jenna Hosey (Softball)
Jordan Edelman (Volleyball)
Mallory McQueen (Volleyball)
Marc Waite (Men's Tennis)
Sergio Ribeiro (Men's Soccer)
Taylor Langston (Baseball)
Presley Smith (Women's Golf)
Blake Wilt (Women's Golf)
Jakkapat Horsangchai (Men's Golf)
Blake Huxman (Men's Golf)
Julee McAtee (Women's Cross Country, Indoor Track & Field, Outdoor Track & Field)
Tyler Patterson (Men's Track & Field)
Ayesha Champagnie (Women's Track & Field)
Brooklyn Polk (Women's Track & Field)

During the 2015-16 academic year, the NJCAA saw 57,472 student-athletes participate with 7.98 percent earning a record number of academic achievement.  Region VI, consisting of Barton and other NJCAA member colleges in Kansas, claimed the most awards with 499 individuals and eight of the twenty-seven team awards.

More regarding the NJCAA can be found online at www.njcaa.org