ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- MVC Elite 18 Award recipient Katie Jean of Illinois State highlights the 2013 MVC Women’s Scholar-Athlete First Team, announced by the league office today. A total of six student-athletes earned first-team scholar-athlete honors, and four others earned honorable-mention status, including Creighton senior Celeste Gassman.
Gassman finished her college career with a third-place showing at the MVC Tournament, the second-best women's performance by a Creighton individual in league tournament history, trailing only a tie for second by Elizabeth Morell in 2003. Academically, the senior from Kansas City, Mo., owns a 3.55 GPA in Accounting.
Gassman becomes CU's first women's golfer to be named to the MVC Scholar-Athlete Team since Maggy Hejlek in 2010.
Jean, a three-time first-team selection, was the lone unanimous selection to the team, voted on by the league's golf sports information directors. She is joined on the first-team unit by Missouri State's Emma Clegg; Indiana State's Emily Dixon; Bradley's Thea Hedemann; Drake's Hadley Jennings; and Southern Illinois' Cassie Rushing. In addition to Jean, Dixon was also a first-team scholar-athlete pick in 2012, while Clegg was a 2012 honorable mention scholar-athlete selection.
Honorable-mention selections in 2013 include Gassman of Creighton, Shaina Rennegarbe of Southern Illinois, Amanda Smith of Indiana State, and Hollie Weatherburn of Wichita State.
ISU's Jean, the league's individual medalist in 2012 and in 2013, was honored at the MVC Championship as the league's Elite 18 Award recipient, given to the qualifying student-athlete participating at the championship with the highest GPA. She has earned that award in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
The criteria for the MVC scholar-athlete team parallels the CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America) standards for academic Capital One Academic All-America® program. Nominees must have at least a 3.20 cumulative grade point average (4.0 scale), while the student-athletes must have reached sophomore athletic and academic standing at their institutions and must have participated in at least 50 percent of her team’s rounds or played at the MVC Championship.
In addition to the six first-team selections, an additional four student-athletes received honorable mention selection, by virtue of receiving a minimum number of votes. A total of 25 student-athletes were nominated for women’s golf scholar-athlete honors.
Illinois State won the Missouri Valley Conference championship, April 21-23, in Sunrise Beach, Mo., and the Redbirds are representing the MVC in the NCAA Regional in Norman, Okla., May 9-11.
2013 Missouri Valley Conference Women’s Golf Scholar-Athlete Team
FIRST TEAM, School Yr. GPA Major Hometown
*Emma Clegg, Missouri State Sr. 3.84 Geography Blackburn (Lancashire, England) Clitheroe Royal Prep
**Emily Dixon, Indiana State Sr. 3.97 Athletic Training Zionsville (Ind.) Community High
*Thea Hedemann, Bradley So. 3.84 Biochemistry Saskatoon (Saskatchewan) Walter Murray
***Katie Jean, Illinois State Sr. 3.91 Actuarial Science Rantoul (Ill.) St. Thomas More
*Hadley Jennings, Drake Jr. 3.79 Elementary Education Trenton (Mo.) High
*Cassie Rushing, Southern Illinois Jr. 3.70 Sport Administration Marion (Ill.) High
Honorable Mention Yr. GPA Major Hometown
Celeste Gassman, Creighton Sr. 3.55 Accounting Kansas City (Mo.) Notre Dame de Sion