Thirty-seven named Academic All-Big Sky Conference


Ashli Helstrom was a four-time Academic All-Big Sky selection

Ashli Helstrom was a four-time Academic All-Big Sky selection

July 5, 2012

The University of Montana had 37 student-athletes on the 2012 Spring Academic All-Big Sky Conference team the league office announced this week. The Grizzlies were led by 18 student-athletes from the women's track and field program and six from the men's tennis team.

Montana's total ranked fourth among the nine Big Sky schools. Weber State, behind a remarkable 25 women's track and field athletes, had a league-high 49 selections. Idaho State had 47, Montana State 41.

The UM women's track and field program had the most selections, but the men's tennis team had the best showing. Six of coach Kris Nord's seven primary players on the Grizzlies' Big Sky Conference regular-season championship team made the list, including all three first-team All-Big Sky selections.

Ethan Vaughn, a history major, has a 3.67 grade point average through his sophomore year, Mikolaj Caruk, a communication studies major, has a 3.63 GPA through his sophomore year, and Michael Facey, an accounting major, has a 3.53 GPA through his junior year.

That first-team All-Big Sky trio combined to go 24-0 in their league singles matches last spring, 18-4 in doubles.

Also earning Academic All-Big Sky Conference honors from the men's tennis team were Ben DeMarois (3.55), who was working on an MBA in accounting, Carl Kuschke (3.66), a senior finance major, and Andreas Luczak (3.88), a freshman economics major.

"It was a phenomenal year for us in the classroom. I was just as pleased with that as going undefeated in our league matches," Nord said. "And our guys are in tough curriculums. There is not a fluff degree in the group.

"Plus we travel a ton. Our guys missed nine days of class with our schedule. And it does not show up on the list, but our kids who have been at the bottom for us in terms of academics pulled themselves up to 2.9 and 3.0, so our team range was 2.9 to the high threes. I'm really happy with that performance as well."

Four spring-sport athletes completed their careers by maxing out on Big Sky academic awards, which require at least a 3.2 cumulative GPA and having participated in at least half of the team's competitions each season.

Women's golfer Ashli Helstrom, a management information systems major with a final GPA of 3.79, was a four-time selection, as was Kuschke.

Nicole Ennen (4.00, psychology) and Courtney Kosovich (3.37, health and human performance) of the women's track and field program, were both eight-time selections, earning four indoor and four outdoor honors.

Melissa Jenkins (3.57, biology), also of the women's track and field team, redshirted the 2011 indoor season and graduated in May. She finished her career 7 for 7.

For the year, counting the fall, winter and spring academic teams, Montana had 89 athletes earn 115 All-Big Sky Conference academic honors.

Montana's selections to the 2012 Spring Academic All-Big Sky Conference team

Women's golf: Tara Green (Fr., pre-education), Ashli Helstrom (Sr., management information systems), Olivia Weber (Jr., philosophy)

Men's tennis: Mikolaj Caruk (So., communication studies), Ben DeMarois (Sr., MBA), Michael Facey (Jr., accounting), Carl Kuschke (Sr., finance), Andreas Luczak (Fr., economics), Ethan Vaughn (So., history)

Women's tennis: Heather Davidson (Jr., marketing), Maddy Murray (So., computer science/mathematics), Laurence Pelchat (Fr., business administration)

Men's outdoor track and field: Jordan Collison (Fr., health and human performance), Mark Messmer (Fr., health and human performance), Andrew Monaco (Fr., political science), David Norris (Fr., exercise science), Tyler Riggs (Fr., pre-education), Alex Shaw (Sr., finance), Alex White (So., health and human performance)

Women's outdoor track and field: Morgan Braby (Fr., political science), Amelia Carpenter (Fr., health and human performance), Rebekah Collins (So., communication studies), Katrina Drennen (Sr., elementary education), Emily Eickholt (Jr., pharmacy), Nicole Ennen (Sr., psychology), Kellee Glaus (So., biology), Melissa Jenkins (Sr., biology), Courtney Kosovich (Sr., health and human performance), Mariah Meyer (Fr., biology), Annie Moore (Fr., environmental studies), Allie Parks (Fr., environmental studies), Kiandra Rajala (Jr., recreation management), Brittany Schroeder (Jr., health and human performance), Hannah Swift (Fr., accounting), Autumn Taniguchi (Fr., sociology), Carly Wilczynski (Fr., pre-education), Madison Worst (Fr., undeclared)

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