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INA, Ill. (July 8, 2014) – Rend Lake College athletics had four student athletes and five teams recognized for academic excellence by the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) this year. The athletes and teams were nominated last month and the complete list of academic award winners can be found online at www.njcaa.org.
Three of the four student athlete standouts come from the RLC Softball team. Receiving the Superior Academic Achievement Award for GPAs between 3.80 and 3.99 is Abbie Lehman with a 3.96 GPA and Fallon Clayton with a 3.81 GPA.
Lehman is a sophomore catcher and outfielder from Marissa. The right-handed player competed in 31 games for the 2013-14 season with 90 plate appearances. She ended the season with a batting average of .250, nine runs, 21 hits and six doubles.
Fellow sophomore Clayton is a shortstop from Anna who played nearly every game last season. The right-handed player had 145 at bats last season, docking 29 runs, 35 hits and three doubles for the Lady Warriors. Her batting average was .241.
Also from the softball team is Haley Miller (Rockport, Ind.) who will receive the Exemplary Academic Achievement Award for a GPA between 3.60 and 3.79. Miller finished the year with a 3.76 GPA. She is a right-handed catcher and outfielder who made 173 plate appearances last season. The sophomore player logged 37 runs, 56 hits, 11 doubles and one home run, upping her batting average of .352.
Softball Coach Dave Ellingsworth said his athletes’ academics are always a high priority.
“Last year we were second in the nation in GPA, so it’s been a tall order for my athletes to compete with this year,” said Ellingsworth. “The Rend Lake College softball program has been known for academic achievement in the past. I’ve got a whole wall of Academic All-Americans. I expect my athletes to do well in the classroom, as well as on the field, and they’ve done really well this year.”
For the second year in a row, the RLC softball team as a whole came in on top among RLC’s teams with a combined GPA of 3.31. The team ended their season 23-30 and 11-19 in the Great Rivers Athletic Conference (GRAC).
The fourth student to receive the national honor is sophomore golfer Travis Waninger of Chrisney, Ind. He finished the year with a 3.69 GPA. As a leader for the RLC golf team, Waninger placed first among his teammates at the MGCCC Hilton Garden Inn Invitational at Windance Country Club in Gulfport, Miss. in October 2013, where he placed fifth overall and earned a spot on the All-Tournament team. He also placed in the top ten at the Danville Area Community College Fall Invitational in October and the John A. Logan Invite in March. Rounding up the season, Waninger tied for 11th at the Region 24 Championship in Bloomington in May.
Other RLC teams nominated based on GPA include:
- Women’s Tennis (3.2) who finished the season 11-3 with a loss in the Region 24 Tournament;
- Men’s Golf (3.19) who finished the season in 3rd at the Region 24 Championship;
- Women’s Volleyball (3.12) who ended the season 7-31;
- And Women’s Golf (3.07) whose athletes competed at the NJCAA National Championship as individuals.
For all things athletic at The Lake, visit www.rlc.edu/warriors.