Courtesy: America East Communications

Five Standouts Named 2016-17 Winter Scholar-Athletes

Release: 04/13/2017

BOSTON — Five of America East’s elite student-athletes who exude excellence both athletically and academically are the America East 2016-17 Winter Scholar-Athletes as announced Thursday morning by the conference office. All-Americans Emily Escobedo (women's swimming & diving) from UMBC and Elinor Purrier (women's indoor track & field) from University of New Hampshire headline the honorees and are joined by the University at Albany's David Nichols (men's basketball) and University of Maine's Sigi Koizar (women's basketball) and Jesse Orach (men's indoor track & field).

2016-17 Winter America East Scholar-Athletes
Emily Escobedo, Sr. - Women's Swimming & Diving

  • Has a 3.51 GPA in psychology.
  • CSCAA Scholar All-American and three-time America East All-Academic selection.
  • CSCAA All-American after placing in the top 12 of three events at NCAAs, including third in the 200 yard breaststroke.
  • Four-time America East Most Outstanding Swimmer. 

Elinor Purrier, New Hampshire, Jr. - Women's Indoor Track & Field

  • Has a 3.70 GPA in nutrition.
  • Second Scholar-Athlete honor this season (women's cross country).
  • America East All-Academic selection.
  • Finished second at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championship in the mile.
  • Most Outstanding Track athlete at the America East Indoor Track & Field Championship.

David Nichols, So., Albany - Men's Basketball

  • Has a 3.88 GPA in communications.
  • America East All-Academic selection and CoSIDA Academic All-District choice.
  • First-team All-Conference and All-Championship team selection.

Sigi Koizar, Sr., Maine - Women's Basketball

  • Carries a 3.97 GPA in biology with a pre-med concentration.
  • CoSIDA Academic All-American and three-time America East All-Academic honoree.
  • Three-time first-team All-Conference selection.

Jesse Orach, Sr., Maine - Men’s Indoor Track & Field

  • Graduated with a 3.96 GPA in chemical engineering and has a 4.0 GPA pursuing his MBA.
  • Fourth Scholar-Athlete honor.
  • Three-time America East Elite 17/18 Award winner. 
  • Top five finishes in the 3,000 and 5,000-meter races at the America East Indoor Championship.

The Scholar-Athletes were members of teams in the five championship sports which America East sponsored in the winter season including men’s and women’s basketball, women's swimming & diving and men's and women's indoor track & field. Nominees were put forward by their institution, which could nominate up to one student-athlete per sport. Then, the conference's Student-Athlete Engagement committee chose an honoree in each of the six fall championship sports. Each America East Scholar-Athlete was a starter or prominent reserve and carries a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.50. They will automatically be eligible for the America East Female or Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year award to be announced this summer.

America East is proud to sponsor one of the most comprehensive academic awards programs in the country, honoring over 2,000 student-athletes each year via six unique award categories: 

  • All-Academic teams comprised of student-athletes that excel both academically and athletically are chosen in each of the conference's 17 sports by a committee consisting of faculty athletic representatives, academic advisors and sports information directors.
  • Scholar-Athletes, the best student-athlete who excels both athletically and academically, are chosen in each sport while an overall Male and Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year is also chosen.
  • The conference recognizes all student-athletes who achieve at least a 3.0 GPA on its Academic Honor Roll, with those achieving a 3.5 average or better receiving Commissioner's Honor Roll status.
  • Presidential Scholar-Athlete awards are bestowed to student-athletes who graduate with a 3.75 GPA.
  • Elite 17 awards the student-athlete with the highest GPA competing in each of America East 17 championships.
  • The Academic Cup is awarded to the school with the highest cumulative GPA among its student-athletes for that academic year.

About America East: The America East provides its member schools and their athletic programs a platform upon which student-athletes can achieve both collegiate and life success through the promotion and nurturing of athletic excellence, academic achievement and leadership, on and off the field.