Maria McDaniel Honored as Distinguished Scholar Athlete
CLEVELAND, Ohio – Western Michigan sophomore cross country runner Maria McDaniel was announced today as a Distinguished Scholar Athlete for the 2015-16 academic season. McDaniel, a Pre-Occupational Therapy major with a 4.0 grade point average, was one of 210 students voted by faculty athletic representative at Mid-American Conference (MAC) institutions representing the ‘best of the best’ from each sports Academic All-MAC Teams.
McDaniel, a Naperville, Ill. native, had a terrific sophomore season for the Broncos leading the team in all six races she competed with WMU (Competed in one race unattached). She had five top-three finishes including wins at the George Dales Invitational, the Notre Dame Invite and the Michigan Intercollegiates. She placed second at the EMU Celebration and took third at the MAC Championships, becoming the first member of WMU to garner two First Team All-MAC awards since 1993. She finished eighth overall at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional Championships and competed in the NCAA Championships for the second straight season.
The Distinguished Scholar Athlete is a second-year award given to students who have excelled in athletics and academics. Following each season from the fall sports schedule, any student with a 3.20 GPA and participation in at least 50 percent of the contests was automatically named to the previously announced Academic All-MAC Team from each sport. Also, first-year students and junior college transfers in their first year of residence were not eligible for the award.
From the Academic All-MAC Teams, the faculty athletic representatives selected the ‘best of the best’ of our Academic All-MAC Teams to be honored with Distinguished Scholar Athlete Award for the 2015-16 season. The number of Distinguished Scholar Athletes from each sport is equivalent to the number of first-team selections or 33% of nominees, whichever was greater.