MARQUETTE, Mich.—The United States Olympic Education Center named 22 athletes to its Academic Team for their strong performances in the classroom during the 2006 fall semester.
“The education component of the USOEC program is what makes this Olympic Training Center unique from the other three in the country,” said USOEC director Jeff Kleinschmidt. “Athletes are recognized regularly for their athletic accomplishments by medaling at competitions, and earning positions on national and world teams, but they rarely get recognition for what they do in the classroom. Creating the Academic Team is our way of acknowledging their academic achievements, which are as equally impressive and important as their athletic successes.”
Among the individuals who made the Academic Team are boxers and Northern Michigan University freshmen Jesse Carradine (Cincinnati, Ohio), Bruno Escalante (Waimanalo, Hawaii), Nate James (Boston, Mass.) and Keola McKee (Wailuku, Hawaii); and seniors David Clark (San Diego, Calif.) and Luis Gómez (Rock Springs, Wyo.). Clark and Gómez graduated from NMU in December. Clark earned a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice, while Gómez attained a bachelor of arts degree in electronic journalism and Spanish. Clark was also named the boxing program’s athlete of the semester for fall 2006.
“They exemplify that you can be an athlete and a student. Both things work hand in hand,” said assistant boxing coach Larry Nicholson.
Female freestyle wrestlers who also earned positions on the team include freshman Nicole Darrow (Lanesboro, Mass.); sophomore Dany Hedin (Kailua, Hawaii); junior Sadie Kaneda (Honolulu, Hawaii); senior Amy Borgnini (Terre Haute, Ind.); and graduate students Kierstin Hyatt (Carmichael, Calif.) and Jennafer Pavlik (Lewes, Del.).
They are joined on the team by five Greco-Roman wrestlers: vocational student Jeff Courtney (Fairmont, W.Va.); freshmen John Dibala (Silverton, Ore.) and Talan Knox (Salt Lake City, Utah); junior Cheney Haight (Drem, Utah); and senior Jacob Fisher (Platte City, Mo.). Courtney earned a vocational diploma in collision repair technology from NMU in December.
Speedskaters earning the honor include sophomore Levi Kirkpatrick (Hills, Iowa), and freshmen Sonia Milan (North Royalton, Ohio) and Katherine Reutter (Champaign, Ill.).
Sophomore weightlifters Justin Brimhall (Miami, Fla.) and Collin Ito (Vista, Calif.) round out the group.
Media Relations Coordinator
January 10, 2007