Six Standout Winter Student-Athletes Tabbed Scholar-Athletes
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Six student-athletes who demonstrated excellence on the court, in the pool and around the track, as well as in the classroom, during the 2012-13 winter season were named America East Scholar-Athletes by the conference office on Thursday. University of Vermont’s Luke Apfeld (men’s basketball) and University at Albany’s Julie Forster (women’s basketball) led the group that also included Boston University’s Katie Matthews (women’s indoor track & field) and R.J. Page (men’s indoor track & field), UMBC’s Andrew Eckhoff (men’s swimming & diving) and University of New Hampshire’s Katherine Mann (women’s swimming & diving). Three of the six selections were members of America East championship-winning squads this winter.
The Scholar-Athletes were members of teams in the six championship sports which America East sponsored in the winter season including men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s indoor track and field, and men’s and women’s swimming and diving. Member institutions of America East Conference for the 2012-13 winter season included University at Albany, Binghamton University, Boston University, University of Hartford, University of Maine, UMBC, University of New Hampshire, Stony Brook University and University of Vermont.
A committee of athletic administrators and NCAA Faculty Athletics Representatives chose an honoree in each of the six winter championship sports. Each America East Scholar-Athlete was a starter or prominent reserve and carries a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.30. Each honoree will automatically be eligible for the America East Female or Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year award to be announced this summer.
Apfeld, a junior forward on the UVM men’s basketball team, is a double major in English and sociology and carries a 3.82 GPA. A first-team CoSIDA/Capital One Academic All-District selection this year, he earned America East All-Academic honors for the second time this year and also received NABC Honors Court and Division I-AAA Director’s Association Scholar-Athlete recognition. On the court, Apfeld averaged 10.7 points per game, good for second on the Catamounts, which he led to 21 wins and to the America East title game for the eighth time in 11 years. He also led America East and ranked 36th nationally in free throw percentage (.862).
Forster, a senior on Albany’s women’s basketball squad, graduated with a 3.96 GPA in educational administration and has a 3.88 GPA in Albany’s business administration graduate program. A three-time America East All-Academic honoree and a two-time member of the CoSIDA/Capital One District I First Team, she is a multiple America East Commissioner’s Honor Roll honoree. Forster was a first-team All-America East selection on the court and led the Great Danes to their second-straight America East title in 2012-13. She ranked third in the league in rebounding (8.4 rpg) while averaging 9.6 points as a senior and became the first Albany women’s basketball player and just the third in America East history to eclipse the 1,100 career mark in both point and rebounds.
Matthews, a senior on Boston U.’s women’s indoor track & field squad, has a 3.94 GPA while pursuing master’s of science in speech-language pathology. She is a three-time America East All-Academic selection and has earned America East Commissioner’s Honor Roll status and made Boston U.’s Dean’s List five times apiece. On the track, Matthews earned All-America honors in both the 3,000- and 5,000-meter run, placing 11th and fifth, respectively. She is the first female Boston U. track athlete to ever earn two All-American nods in one season.
Page, a senior Boston U. men’s indoor track & field athlete, carries a 3.49 GPA as a dual major in economics and business administration and management. He received America East All-Academic team honors and was Boston U.’s E. Ray Speare Award, which is given to the top Terrier student-athlete each year, in 2012. A multiple-time Dean’s List and America East Commissioner’s Honor Roll designee, Page has also stood out on the track. He helped set two Boston University records this year and was part of 4x400m relay team that was second at the IC4A Championships with a school-record time of 3:08.41, which is the fastest time of any New England school in history
Eckhoff, a senior diver at UMBC, is the lone repeat winter Scholar-Athlete and has a 3.44 GPA in environmental science. He earned his third America East All-Academic citation this year and is a multiple-time America East Commissioner’s Honor Roll designee. In the pool, Eckhoff earned Most Outstanding Diver honors at the 2013 America East Swimming & Diving Championship after winning both the 1- and 3-meter competitions and setting a meet record in the latter. Eckhoff also won both competitions at ECACs, earning Most Outstanding Diver accolades at that meet as well, and also competed at the NCAA Zones.
Mann has a 3.66 GPA in English at New Hampshire. The sophomore was named to the America East Commissioner’s Honor Roll last year and earned her first All-Academic honor this season. In the pool, Mann had a standout season posting 23 first-place finishes and qualifying for the NCAA championship meet in three events, the 200 and 400 individual medley and the 200 breaststroke. She had three first-place finishes and set three pool records at the America East Championship while also setting two ECAC meet records a week later.
America East is proud to have one of the most comprehensive academic awards programs in the country. In addition to the Scholar-Athlete program, America East’s honors, which a record number of fall student-athletes were named to last week, recognizes those who achieve a 3.0 GPA or better during their playing-season semester. An All-Academic team comprised of student-athletes that excel both academically and athletically is chosen in each of the conference’s 20 sports by a committee consisting of faculty athletic representatives, academic advisors and sports information directors. Finally, the Academic Cup is awarded to the school with the highest cumulative GPA among its student-athletes for that academic year.
About the America East Conference
Now in its fourth decade of operation, the America East Conference has evolved into one of the most comprehensive NCAA Division I conferences in the country with a commitment to broad-based, competitive athletics programs, complementing the academic integrity and missions of the member institutions. Progressive in its approach to its more than 3,400 student-athletes, America East recognizes champions in each of its 20 sports. America East also conducts the nation’s most comprehensive academic recognition program for student-athletes and collaborates on several community service initiatives throughout its geographic footprint each year. With members spanning from the Mid-Atlantic to Northeast regions of the United States, America East strives to develop champions in academics, athletics and leadership at its nine member institutions: University at Albany, Binghamton University, Boston University, University of Hartford, University of Maine, UMBC, University of New Hampshire, Stony Brook University and University of Vermont.