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Western Carolina Boasts a League-Best 25 Student-Athletes on SoCon Winter Academic All-Conference Teams

April 7, 2010

Cullowhee, N.C. - Western Carolina landed a league-best 25 student-athletes on the Southern Conference's winter Academic All-Conference teams announced today by the conference office. A total of 160 student-athletes representing all 12 SoCon institutions and five winter sports were named to the team.

The Catamounts' 25 honorees were two more than a year ago (23 in 2009) and matching the previous high of 25 in 2006. WCU was followed this season by Appalachian State with 18 and Furman with 16. The 160 student-athletes averaged a 3.56 grade point average on a 4.0 scale.

"The Southern Conference All-Academic Teams are as important as any honors that recognize the accomplishments of student-athletes," said WCU Director of Athletics, Chip Smith. "Western Carolina is routinely among the leaders in the number of student-athletes on these teams and we are proud to see that tradition continue."

By sport conference-wide, the women's indoor track and field teams landed 71 student-athletes on the team collectively, with men's indoor track and field with 33 and women's basketball with 32.

Western had eight members of its 2009-10 Indoor SoCon Conference Champion women's indoor track & field team selected. The men's track and field team and the women's basketball team both had seven student-athletes selected, while the men's basketball team rounded out the field of 25 with three honorees.

Twelve WCU student-athletes boasted GPA's of 3.5 or higher with seven also garnering accolades in their respective sports.

Basketball standouts Jake Robinson and Kristen Feemster were also named to the CoSIDA All-District teams earlier this year. Feemster, a senior from Clover, S.C., holds a 3.94 GPA and was named to the CoSIDA All-District III team. Meanwhile, Robinson, a senior from Canton, N.C., has a 3.41 GPA and was named third team CoSIDA Academic All-American. Women's Track and Field and Cross Country athlete Danielle Shaurette was named the WCU Co-Op Student of the Year for the 2009-2010 academic year. Shaurette, a native of Buford, Ga., holds a 3.94 GPA in Interior Design.

This is the seventh year that the Southern Conference has named an All-Academic Team by season. To be eligible, a student-athlete must possess at least a 3.2 cumulative grade point average entering the winter season and must have competed in at least one-half of their team's competitions during the recently-concluded winter campaign. In addition, the student-athletes must have successfully completed at least 24 credit hours in the previous two semesters.

Between the two seasons in which academic accolades have been handed out by the SoCon office - fall and winter - Western Carolina boasted 52 Academic All-Conference team selections including 27 in the fall and 25 in the winter - which ranks second overall in the conference.

Catamounts on the 2009-10 Winter Academic All-Southern Conference Teams

Men's Basketball - 3
Antoine Childs, So., Beaver Falls, Pa., 3.21 - Management
Brigham Waginger, Sr., South Webster, Ohio, 3.52 - Physical Education*
Jake Robinson, Sr., Canton, N.C., 3.41, Finance*

Women's Basketball - 7
Emily Clarke, Jr., Snellville, Ga., 3.62, Psychology*
Kendra Carroll, Jr., Paintsville, Ky., 3.42, Anthropology
Brittany Ferguson, So., Macon, Ga., 3.45, Social Sciences
Caitlin Hollifield, So., Knoxville, Tenn., 3.28, Science Education/Biology
Kristen Feemster, Sr., Clover, S.C., 3.94, Psychology
Heather Swayne, Sr., Raleigh, N.C., 3.74, Sport Management
Jessica Jackson, Sr., Roswell, Ga., 3.22, Marketing

Men's Indoor Track and Field - 7
Sean Reardon, Jr., Weaverville, N.C., 3.71, Electrical Engineering
Drew Tucker, Jr., King, N.C., 3.51, Criminal Justice*
Luke Burton, R-Fr., Marion, N.C, 3.96, Chemistry
Wayne Parker, So., Gold Hill, N.C., 3.69, Pre-Nursing
Jamie Van Pelt, So., Tampa, Fla., 3.43, Undeclared
David Gift, Sr., Warrensville, N.C., 3.73, Science Education/Biology
Matt Evans, Sr., Old Fort, N.C., 3.55, Physical Education*

Women's Indoor Track and Field - 8
Jordan Gaddy, Jr., Candler, N.C., 3.83, Pre-Nursing
Kassie McKie, Jr., Rapid City, S.D., 3.79, Pre-Business
Lindsay Groce, Jr., Wilkesboro, N.C., 3.31, Nutrition / Dietetics
Shalyn McMichael, Jr., Elgin, S.C., 3.20, Athletic Training*
Emma Bowers, So., Jonesborough, Tenn., 3.76, Sport Management
Jettana Thomas, So., High Point, N.C., 3.62, Construction Management*
Hannah Bowers, So., Jonesborough, Tenn., 3.26, Social Work
Danielle Shaurette, Sr., Buford, Ga., 3.94, Interior Design
* - denotes also named All-Southern Conference in their respective sport