Bowling Green, Ky. — Lisa Ross and Mikus Paipars were named the 2005-06 Female and Male Scholar-Athletes of the Year Monday as Western Kentucky University honored its student-athletes and support staff at the school’s Academic Athletic Awards Banquet at the Garrett Conference Center.
In all, 312 individuals were recognized for carrying a cumulative grade-point-average of 3.0 or better or posting a 3.0 GPA over one of the previous two semesters.
Ross, a native of Highland, Ind., scored points in the 500- and 1,650-yard freestyle as well as the 400-yard individual medley at the Sun Belt Conference championships this year. She posted WKU’s second-best time on the season in the 500 Free while also ranking third on the squad in the 1,000 and 1,650 Free, and 400 IM. Paipars, who hails from Liepaja, Latvia, was the Hilltopper tennis team’s No. 1 singles player for four seasons, winning 41 singles and 36 doubles matches from 2002-05.
The women’s golf and women’s swimming teams shared the Female Scholar Team award while the men’s tennis team claimed the Male Scholar Team honor for the second year in a row. Women’s swimming and women’s soccer were also recognized for being named an Academic All-America team by their respective coaches’ associations.
WKU honored 14 individuals — who have a 3.5 GPA or better and are graduating next month — as Senior Scholars. They were Caron Blotch (volleyball), Rachel Buncher (women’s swimming), Elizabeth Cummins (women’s soccer), Angie Gardner (women’s track & field), Krystal Gardner (women’s basketball), Katherine Hunt (women’s soccer), Neal Heichelbech (men’s track & field), Jacob Isenhour (men’s soccer), Paipars, Matt Ransdell (baseball), Ross, Natasha Sevco (softball), Karl Swanson (men’s swimming) and Lauren Wilson (women’s soccer).
Also, seven student-athletes were recognized after earning ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District honors in the previous year — Blotch, Kevin Dick (men’s track & field), Paipars, Daniel Payne (men’s soccer), Ransdell, Marion Rumph (football) and Swanson.
Nine of WKU’s 20 teams currently carry a cumulative GPA above a 3.0, while 46 individuals recorded a perfect 4.0 GPA in at least one semester last year.