SPARTANBURG, S.C. -  A total of 154 Western Carolina student-athletes were honored as the Southern Conference released its academic honor roll for the 2018-19 academic year on Wednesday.

A league record 2,246 student-athletes from the 10 member institutions and 16 associate members earned the distinction.

The academic honor roll originated in 1988-89 when SoCon athletic directors established the award as a way to recognize the league's outstanding student-athletes. The academic honor roll consists of student-athletes who participated in varsity sports and posted a 3.0-grade point average or higher for the academic year, were eligible the entire academic year and were members of the final squad lists. The award is different from the academic all-conference award, announced Tuesday, which is determined by cumulative GPA and involves a participation requirement.

 Of the 2,246 student-athletes on the list, 517 earned the Commissioner’s Medal, awarded to student-athletes who attain a GPA of 3.8 or higher throughout the year. This year’s total is the second-most since that standard rose from 3.5 beginning in 2015-16, trailing only last year’s 526.

One hundred and sixty-seven student-athletes boasted perfect 4.0 GPAs in 2018-19, the second-most in league history. Each of the league’s full members had at least four student-athletes with 4.0 GPAs, led by Mercer with 33, Chattanooga with 28 and ETSU with 20.

Western Carolina had 44 student-athletes earn the commissioners’ medal while 13 Catamounts closed out the 2018-19 academic year with a perfect 4.0 GPA.

Western Carolina student-athletes with a 4.0 for the academic year: Nolan Beasley (football), Nathan Dalton (football), Will Jones (football), Madison Armstrong (softball), Erica Hayes (softball), Sydney Carlson (volleyball). Hayley Multerer (volleyball), Kayla Thomas (women’s soccer), Emily Zipay (women’s soccer), Lauren McCall (women’s tennis), Autumn James (women’s track and field), Lauren Prusacki (women’s track and field) and Lindsey Trotter (women’s track and field).

Mercer paced the league with 303 members on the honor roll, while ETSU was second with 228 and Samford was third with 211. Each of the SoCon’s 10 full members had at least 121 student-athletes on the list.

Associate members in men’s soccer (16), wrestling (67), men’s lacrosse (140), women’s lacrosse (56) and rifle (17) accounted for 296 selections.

Football boasted the most student-athletes on the list with 325, followed by women’s soccer with 231 and men’s lacrosse with 216. The honor roll includes all 22 SoCon-sponsored sports as well as the non-sponsored sports of swimming and diving, water polo, triathlon, and beach volleyball.