Oct. 31, 2011
ST. LOUIS - Along with earning All-Conference honors for finishing in the top-10 at the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Cross Country Championships on Sunday, Missouri State student-athlete Emily Beaver also received one of the highest academic distinctions. The junior from Diamond, Mo. received the Women's Elite 18 Award in Terre Haute, Ind., which recognizes the highest performance in both athletics and academics.
"It is very gratifying to be recognized for the effort I have put in," Beaver said. "It has always been a goal of the cross country team to excel in the classroom and do the best we can with our schoolwork."
Beaver, who is majoring in English education and has a cumulative GPA of 4.0, is the first Missouri State student-athlete to win the award.
The Elite 18 Award Program was established by the Missouri Valley Conference in the fall of 2010 to honor the highest achievement in academics and athletics by a student-athlete in each MVC-sponsored sport. Modeled after the NCAA Elite 88 Academic Recognition Award Program, the MVC Elite 18 award is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average competing at the finals site at each of the MVC's 18 team championships.
The selection process varies for each sport, and winners are chosen from a list of nominations submitted by MVC institutions. For the team sports of soccer, volleyball, basketball, tennis, baseball and softball, the winner is chosen from the two teams participating in the championship game/match. For cross country, golf, swimming & diving, and track & field, the winners will be chosen from nominated student-athletes who have met an athletic performance threshold (for instance, in cross country, the eligible student-athletes must have finished among the top 10 at the championship meet).