Record 61 Aggies earn Big West All-Academic

June 30, 2016

DAVIS, Calif. - A record total of 61 UC Davis student-athletes from 10 different winter and spring sports captured Big West Academic All-Conference honors, the league office announced Thursday. That total exceeds the previous high of 56, set in each of the 2013-14 and 2014-15 school years. Along with the 28 fall winners announced in January, the Aggies claimed 89 total nods to the conference honor roll.


To be eligible for Big West All-Academic honors, student-athletes must hold a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or higher, complete one full year at the member institution prior to the year for which the award is bestowed, and compete in at least 50 percent of their team's contests for that year.

Distance runners Erika Barr and Trevor Halsted each achieved the rare distinction of garnering a sixth career All-Academic award, claiming their third for track and field to go with three fall awards in cross country. Teammates Patrick Fitzgerald and Amar Dholakia each picked up a fifth overall award. Each has won three in cross country and two for track.

Sophomore Morgan Bertsch also enjoyed a relative rarity of appearing on the winter/spring Academic All-Conference rolls in two different sports. She won such honors as a post for the UC Davis women's basketball team, then repeated the accolade as a high jumper for the track & field squad.

Overall, the UC Davis men's and women's track & field teams had 24 combined names on the conference honor rolls. In addition to Barr and Bertsch, Tori Edwards, Rianna Goins, Christine Hoffman, Catherine Li, Ariel Maroon, Michaela Mundt, Emma Redick, Danielle Steffen, Bryana Thigpen, Holly Tokar and Jeanine Viruet represented the Aggies on the women's side. Li joins Barr as the team's three-time spring honorees.

From the men's track team, Miguel Aceves, Matthew Bender, Bernhardt Fourie, Forrest Hierholzer, Jelani Legohn, Cody Nguyen, Abhineet Ram and Shane Ryan joined Halsted, Fitzgerald and Dholakia on the spring honor list. Bender, Nguyen and Ram each are third-time selections.

The UC Davis softball and women's water polo teams each claimed seven members on the spring All-Academic rolls. From the diamond, Christina Guidry and Alicia Paine both garnered their third such awards, while Katie Robertson picked up her second. Leah Munden, Kaila Olson, Andrea Reynolds and Megan Salazar made the Big West honor roll for the first time.

From women's water polo, Allyson Hansen, Bryn Lutz and Hailey Wright scored their third straight All-Academic awards. Hannah Harvey and Courtney Weddle notched their second nods. Sophomores Jill Bushman and Greta Kohlmoos made the honor roll in their first years of eligibility.

Baseball had five Academic All-Conference picks, including second-time honorees Justin Mullins and Mason Novak. The sophomore trio of Matt Blais, Robert Garcia and Brad Pluschkell also made its first appearance on the scholar-athlete list.

From the UC Davis tennis courts, seniors Brett Bacharach and Tiffany Pham each won their third All-Academic awards for their respective teams. Frederique Sleiffer won academic acclaim for the second year, while Kristy Jorgensen, Kamila Kecki and Jessie Lee are first-time honorees on the women's side. Alec Adamson picked up his second All-Academic nod for the Aggie men's team, with Tommy Lam and Jesse Ross claiming their first such awards.

Rounding out the spring sports is women's golf, who placed three on the honor roll: third-time selection Andrea Wong, second-timer Betty Chen, and first-time Alexandra Zeng.

From the winter sports, the Aggie women's basketball team saw four players on the honor roll while the men claimed two. Bertsch is one of four sophomores to make the list, along with Pele Gianotti, Dani Nafekh and Rachel Nagel. On the men's side, seniors Josh Fox and Neal Monson picked up their first All-Academic nods. Monson had previously represented UC Davis as the male Big West Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

In all, 439 Big West student-athletes claimed winter or spring Academic All-Conference plaudits, an increase from 421 in 2014-15 and 406 in 2013-14.

2015-16 BIG WEST ACADEMIC ALL-CONFERENCE - WINTER & SPRING SPORTS
UC Davis honorees only. Academic year and major are listed.

MEN'S BASKETBALL (2)
Josh Fox (Sr., Sociology)
Neal Monson (Sr., Philosophy)

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL (4)
Morgan Bertsch (So., Biomedical Engineering)
Pele Gianotti (So., Political Science)
Dani Nafekh (So., Managerial Economics)
Rachel Nagel (So., Neurobiology, Physiology & Behavior)

BASEBALL (5)
Matt Blais (So., Managerial Economics)
Robert Garcia (So., Managerial Economics)
Justin Mullins (Jr., Economics)
Mason Novak (Sr., Neurobiology, Physiology & Behavior)
Brad Pluschkell (So., Mechanical Engineering)

SOFTBALL (7)
Christina Guidry (Sr., Communication)
Leah Munden (Sr., Human Development)
Kaila Olson (Sr., Clinical Nutrition)
Andrea Reynolds (Jr., Biological Sciences)
Katie Robertson (Jr., Aerospace Science & Engineering)
Alicia Paine (Sr., Mathematics)
Megan Salazar (So., Neurobiology, Physiology & Behavior)

WOMEN'S GOLF (3)
Betty Chen (Sr., Economics)
Andrea Wong (Sr., American Studies)
Alexandra Zeng (So., Managerial Economics)

MEN'S TENNIS (4)
Alec Adamson (Jr., Economics)
Brett Bacharach (Sr., Aerospace Science & Engineering)
Tommy Lam (So., Economics)
Jesse Ross (Jr., Economics)

WOMEN'S TENNIS (5)
Kristy Jorgensen (So., Materials Science & Engineering)
Kamila Kecki (Jr., Linguistics)
Jessie Lee (So., Food Science)
Tiffany Pham (Sr., Nutrition Science)
Frederique Sleiffer (Jr., International Relations)

MEN'S TRACK & FIELD (11)
Miguel Aceves (Sr., Sociology)
Matthew Bender (Sr., Mechanical Engineering)
Amar Dholakia (Sr., Biological Sciences)
Patrick Fitzgerald (Sr., Chemistry)
Bernhardt Fourie (So., International Relations)
Trevor Halsted (Sr., Mechanical Engineering)
Forrest Hierholzer (Sr., Environmental Sciences & Management)
Jelani Legohn (Jr., Linguistics)
Cody Nguyen (Sr., Electrical Engineering)
Abhineet Ram (Sr., Cell Biology)
Shane Ryan (Jr., Exercise Biology)

WOMEN'S TRACK & FIELD (13)
Erika Barr (Sr., Biomedical Engineering)
Morgan Bertsch (So., Biomedical Engineering)
Tori Edwards (Sr., History)
Rianna Goins (Jr., Human Development)
Christine Hoffmann (Sr., Civil Engineering)
Catherine Li (Sr., Animal Sciences)
Ariel Maroon (Sr., Clinical Nutrition)
Michaela Mundt (Jr., Genetics)
Emma Redick (Jr., International Relations)
Danielle Steffen (Jr., Biological Sciences)
Brynna Thigpen (Jr., Psychology)
Holly Tokar (Jr., Managerial Economics)
Jeannine Viruet (Sr., Psychology)

WOMEN'S WATER POLO (7)
Jill Bushman (So., International Relations)
Hannah Harvey (Jr., Neurobiology, Physiology & Behavior)
Greta Kohlmoos (So., Cinema & Digital Media)
Allyson Hansen (Sr., Human Development)
Bryn Lutz (Sr., Animal Science)
Hailey Wright (Sr., Evolution, Ecology & Biodiversity)
Courtney Weddle (Sr., Managerial Economics)