IRVING, Texas – The East Carolina men’s golf and softball programs have earned the 2009 Conference USA Sport Academic Award, according to an announcement from league Commissioner Britton Banowsky on Thursday. It is the second consecutive year in which the two programs have received the honor. Additionally, Rice was named the C-USA Institutional Excellence Award winner for the fourth straight year.
The Sport Academic Award is given to the team in each conference-sponsored sport with the highest grade point average for the current academic year. The Institutional Excellence Award is given to the league university with the highest grade point average during the current academic year for all student-athletes in conference sponsored sports.
Leading the way for ECU’s men’s golf team, which posted a 3.590 GPA, was Markus Leandersson, who was an ESPN The Magazine Third-Team Academic All-America selection and graduated with a 4.0 GPA as a finance major. Leandersson and Andre Thorsen were also named Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholars.
For the softball team, Cristen Aona, Jessica Johnson and Kaui Tom were named to the C-USA All-Academic Team while Johnson also earned ESPN The Magazine Second Team Academic All-District honors. The softball team finished the year with a GPA of 3.306.
Both the men’s golf and the softball teams improved their GPA’s from last year’s league-best marks.