29 Gauchos Earn Big West Academic All-Conference Honors

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – A total of 29 UC Santa Barbara student-athletes were named to the Big West Academic All-Conference teams for the spring 2011 season it was announced by the league. The Gauchos tied Long Beach State with the most honorees and the UCSB women’s track team had the most recipients of any other team in the conference with 12 athletes making the grade.

To be eligible for the Big West Academic All-Conference team, student-athletes are required to maintain at least a 3.2 cumulative grade point average, complete one full academic year at the member institution prior to the season for which the award is being received (at least a sophomore academically), and compete in at least 50 percent of their team’s competitions.
The 12 women’s track and field honorees are Snita Ashford (sociology major), Jessica Bragg (communication major), Cherise Dixon (global studies major), Alexandra Francis (global studies major), Lauren Kodama (environmental studies major), Helena Montin (pre-biology major), Aislynn Mueller (classics major), Megan Petkovic (environmental studies major), Breanne Strenkowski (biology major), Sheneice Vargas (business economics major), Sarah Vitug (communication major) and Megan Vyenielo (undeclared major).
For the men’s track team, Nadim Houssain (religious studies major), Michael Larocca (pre-biology major) and Adam Shigem (communication) each made the cut.
The baseball team tied UC Irvine with a league-leading three honorees in seniors Derek Eligio (sociology major), Joe Wallace (sociology major) and Conor Whalen (business economics major).
Men’s tennis saw Mathieu Forget (theater major) and Benjamin Recknagel (business economics major) pick up honors while the women’s team had three achieve all-academic status: Jill Damion (communication major), Michelle Murphy (environmental studies major) and Sofia Novak (global studies major).
Women’s water polo, meanwhile, had five players named to the team: Michelle Beaudreau (business economics major), Kristin Kulakowski (bio science major), Kathryn Nelson (global studies major), Rachel Nelson (pre-biology major) and Katie Zakula (communication major).
Scott Lewis (psychology major) from the men’s golf team rounded out the Gaucho accolades.