@uttylerpatriots earn ASC Distinguished Scholar-Athlete

Wednesday, June 8, 2016
by Wes Bloomquist | wbloomquist@uttyler.edu

TYLER – Dominance on the courts, tracks and fields carries over to the classroom at UT Tyler and has been highlighted with Michelle Obach, Conner Benson, Krista Painter, Frankie Fischer and Raven Rodriguez earning American Southwest Conference Distinguished Scholar-Athlete honors – the most selections by any athletic program in the ASC.

The Distinguished Scholar-Athlete Teams recognizes student-athletes who achieve a high level of academic achievement (a 3.20 grade-point average or better) while competing as a starter or important reserve on their team. From that list – limited to one nominee per school in each ASC championship sport – the sports information directors from the 13 ASC member institutions select a Distinguished Scholar-Athlete in each sport.

Obach made history as the first Texas-Tyler recipient of the ASC Distinguished Scholar-Athlete award in women’s basketball. Obach was the catalyst for a Patriots team that went 30-2 and made its first appearance in the Elite Eight of the NCAAA Division III Championship. Named a Division III All-American by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association, Obach was one of 10 players in Division III to earn the honor which was selected by a vote of the WBCA selection committee. Obach led the ASC in three-point field goal percentage (.457), ranked third in scoring (18.1), and assists (109), fourth in field goal percentage (.456) and three-point field goals (69) and fifth in free throw percentage (.768).

Rodriguez is the second consecutive Patriot to receive ASC Distinguished Scholar-Athlete award in softball. A CoSIDA Academic All-American, Rodriguez also received All-American honors from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association. The ASC Player of the Year, Rodriguez started all 54 games at shortstop for the Patriots en route to their first NCAA Division III Championship in softball. The Division III active leader with 202 games played, Rodriguez led the ASC in total bases (120) and hits (72), tied for second in home runs (11) and ranked third in RBI (58), slugging percentage (.698) and sixth in runs scored (42).

Painter is the first Patriot to be named the ASC Distinguished Scholar-Athlete in women’s track and field. She won the 5,000 meters and the 10,000 meters at the ASC Championships and also finished fourth in the 800 meter and third in the 1,500 meters.

Benson is the fourth Patriot to be named the ASC Distinguished Scholar-Athlete in men’s track and field in the eight-year history of the award. Benson led the Patriots to their fourth consecutive ASC cross country championship with the High Point Athlete of the Year Award (26) with wins in the 5,000 meter and 10,000 meters. Fischer competed in the NCAA Division III National Championships as an individual for the second straight season and played in doubles with teammate Arthur Fagundes. Fischer and Fagundes went 14-5 as doubles partners this season, secured an 8-1 win in the ASC Championship finals and entered the NCAA tournament having won seven straight matches. They earned an 8-6 win against No. 3 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps in the NCAA tournament in No. 1 doubles after taking a 9-8 (6-0) victory over of Whitman. Fischer is 41-9 in his two seasons at Texas-Tyler in doubles action. He has an 18-6 doubles record as a senior after also going 3-1 with Jose McIntyre and 1-0 with Keaton McCormick. Fischer is the third Patriot selected as the ASC Distinguished Scholar-Athlete in men’s tennis.

ASC Winter / Spring 2015-16 Distinguished Scholar-Athlete Teams
Sport's Distinguished Scholar-Athlete*

Name University Cl. Major Hometown
Connor Combs* East Texas Baptist Jr. Business Southlake, Texas
Daniel Ammirati Belhaven Jr. Sports Administration New York City, N.Y.
Colton Poindexter Concordia Texas Jr. Env. Science / Conservation Baytown, Texas
Blake Northrop Hardin-Simmons Jr. Biology Mansfield, Texas
Cliff Lunceford Howard Payne So. Engineering Science Fort Worth, Texas
Taylor Empkey LeTourneau Sr. Biblical Studies Bedford, Texas
Austin Taylor Louisiana College Jr. Business Administration Pineville, La.
Seth Martin Mary Hardin-Baylor So. Accounting Gatesville, Texas
Chris Baker McMurry Jr. History Grades 8-12 San Angelo, Texas
Grady Finley Univ. of Ozarks Sr. Health Science Sheridan, Ark.
Trent Pearson Sul Ross State Sr. BBA Business Admin. Lubbock, Texas
David McKenzie Texas Dallas Sr. Information Technology Dallas, Texas
Alex Bishop Texas-Tyler So. Mechanical Engineering Calgary, Alberta

Men's Basketball

Name University Cl. Major Hometown
Justin Jones* Hardin-Simmons Jr. Finance Holliday, Texas
Rashad Coleman Concordia Texas Jr. Kinesiology San Antonio, Texas
Bret Atkins East Texas Baptist Sr. English Education Zagreb, Croatia
J Bailey Howard Payne Jr. Pre-Law / Honors Academy Gunter, Texas
Giovanny Thompson LeTourneau Sr. History Klein, Texas
Russell Green Mary Hardin-Baylor Sr. Pre-Physical Therapy Klein, Texas
Thierry Tchenko McMurry Jr. Political Science Houston, Texas
Dillon Gash Univ. of Ozarks Jr. Mathematics Elkins, Ark.
Damien Rodriquez Sul Ross State Jr. BBA Business Admin. San Antonio, Texas
Dapo Ogunfeitmi Texas Dallas Jr. Accounting / Finance San Antonio, Texas

Women's Basketball

Name University Cl. Major Hometown
Michelle Obach* Texas-Tyler Jr. Political Science Tyler, Texas
Candler Gregory Belhaven Jr. Chemistry Hampton, Ga.
Ally Terry Concordia Texas Sr. Kinesiology Austin, Texas
Morgan Garrett East Texas Baptist Sr. Physical Education Coushatta, La.
Heidi Schroeder Hardin-Simmons So. Exercise Science Montgomery, Texas
Kristin Cunningham Howard Payne Jr. Exercise & Sport Science Carrollton, Texas
Alexandria Burroughs LeTourneau Jr. Psychology Houston, Texas
Kortney Kling Louisiana College Jr. Media / Journalism Lafayette, La.
Mackenzie Coffey Mary Hardin-Baylor Jr. Pre-Physical Therapy Pflugerville, Texas
Taylor Russell McMurry Sr. Biomedical Science Liberty Hill, Texas
Ashley Hipps Univ. of Ozarks Sr. Health Sci. / Psychology Greenland, Ark.
Madison Steele Texas Dallas Jr. Undeclared Dripping Springs, Texas

Men's Golf

Name University Cl. Major Hometown
Tanner Landry* Texas Dallas Jr. Finance The Hills, Texas
Lucas Almond Concordia Texas Sr. Management Dallas, Texas
Daniel Kay LeTourneau Jr. Management Tarkington, Texas
Jarrod Brown Mary Hardin-Baylor Jr. Engineering Science Groves, Texas
Buddy Hallman Texas-Tyler Sr. Finance Richmond, Texas

Women's Golf

Name University Cl. Major Hometown
Elizabeth Davis* Mary Hardin-Baylor Gr. Master’s of Sports Admin. Houston, Texas
Shelby Allen Concordia Texas Jr. Marketing Magnolia, Texas
Kara Doege Hardin-Simmons Sr. Comm. Sciences Monahans, Texas
Alisa Wilson LeTourneau Jr. Biology Snohomish, Wash.
Morgan Dennis Louisiana College Jr. Business / Accounting Opelousas, La.
Randi Hanfeld McMurry Sr. Ex. Science / Human Per. Odessa, Texas
Hailey Hollas Texas Dallas So. Management Richmond, Texas
Stephanie Tutt Texas-Tyler So. Mechanical Engineering McKinney, Texas


Name University Cl. Major Hometown
Raven Rodriguez* Texas-Tyler Sr. Kinesiology Houston, Texas
Makenzie Hawkins Belhaven Sr. Communications Nettleton, Miss.
Brooke Jones Concordia Texas Sr. Computer Science Rowlett, Texas
Lacey Lindsey East Texas Baptist Jr. Nursing Leander, Texas
Sarah Truelove Hardin-Simmons Sr. Exercise Science Temple, Texas
Allison Eaton Howard Payne Gr. Masters of Bus. Admin. Briggs, Texas
Courtney Matulis LeTourneau Jr. Math Education Pittsburg, Texas
Jessica Johnson Louisiana College Sr. Psychology Deville, La.
Karley Free Mary Hardin-Baylor So. Sport Management Henderson, Texas
Krysten Shavers Univ. of Ozarks Jr. Business Administration Waco, Texas
Jackie Gonzalez Sul Ross State So. BS Biology El Paso, Texas
Stefanie Polderman Texas Dallas So. Biochemistry West Vancouver, B.C.

Men's Tennis

Name University Cl. Major Hometown
Frankie Fischer* Texas-Tyler Sr. Biology Georgetown, Texas
Harry Amor Belhaven Sr. Business / Accounting Chandigarh, India
Jack Proctor Concordia Texas Sr. Religious Education Fairfax Station, Va.
Tyler Tolopka East Texas Baptist Sr. Biology Sugar Land, Texas
Ben Gutierrez Hardin-Simmons So. Economics / Finance Dumas, Texas
Isaac Williams Howard Payne So. Youth Ministry May, Texas
Morgan Weaver LeTourneau Sr. Mechanical Engineering Jacksonville, Texas
Scott Wilding Mary Hardin-Baylor Jr. Nursing College Station, Texas
Carlos Perez McMurry Sr. Ex. Science / Human Per. Harlingen, Texas
Dillon Murray Univ. of Ozarks Jr. Health Science West Helena, Ark.
Gunner Gardner Sul Ross State Jr. BA History Granger, Texas
Ryan Morton Texas Dallas So. Mechanical Engineering Odessa, Texas

Women's Tennis

Name University Cl. Major Hometown
Kayla Casey* East Texas Baptist Sr. University Studies Franklin, Texas
Ivanna Echezuria Belhaven Sr. Accounting Caracas, Venezuela
Shayne Cook Hardin-Simmons Jr. Pre-Physical Therapy Abilene, Texas
Brittony Walker Howard Payne Sr. Family Studies Abilene, Texas
Rachel Morisseau LeTourneau So. Early Childhood Ed. Fort Worth, Texas
Elizabeth Ostroff Mary Hardin-Baylor Sr. Psychology The Woodlands, Texas
Madison Hathorn McMurry Sr. Business Administration Abilene, Texas
Maggie Johnson Univ. of Ozarks Jr. Physical Education Munford, Tenn.
Alexa Gallardo Sul Ross State So. BS Animal Science Pre-Vet El Paso, Texas
Kelly Reed Texas Dallas Jr. Finance / Economics Arlington, Texas
Tori Musngi Texas-Tyler Jr. Kinesiology Rowlett, Texas

Men's Track and Field

Name University Cl. Major Hometown
Conner Benson* Texas-Tyler Sr. Kinesiology Humble, Texas
Cody Blankenship East Texas Baptist Jr. Business Hallsville, Texas
Kaelon McLemore Hardin-Simmons Jr. Business Management Duncanville, Texas
Chris Veail McMurry Sr. Psychology Abilene, Texas

Women's Track and Field

Name University Cl. Major Hometown
Krista Painter* Texas-Tyler So. Political Science Mission Viejo, Calif.
Madison Schumaker Belhaven Jr. Sports Med. / Ex. Science Moscow, Idaho
Hannah Godwin East Texas Baptist Jr. Athletic Training Spring, Texas
Paige Goen Hardin-Simmons Sr. Kinesiology / Sport Mgmt. Santo, Texas
Shantel Thomas McMurry Jr. Chemistry Highlands, Texas
Kathleen Norris Sul Ross State So. BS Animal Science Pre-Vet Fort Worth, Texas