Kansas: No Dumb Jocks

Nine soccer players, six volleyball players, and seven cross country runners recently earned Academic All Big 12 honors. Additionally defensive lineman Travis Watkins was selected for the Academic All District team.

Rachel Gilfillan was honored as one of only four soccer players in the conference to have a perfect 4.0 GPA. Cross country runner Megan Manthe also earned a 4.0 grade point average and academic honors.

Travis Watkins has been selected to the Academic All-District VII Football Team -- as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America. Watkins, a defensive lineman from Derby, Kan., was one of 87 nominations from District VII for the award. He will now advance to the national Academic All-America ballot.

Following the most successful season in program history, nine student athletes from the University of Kansas soccer team were honored for their classroom achievements as they were named to the All-Big 12 Academic teams.

Monica Brothers, Rachel Gilfillan, Kimberly Karfonta, Stacy Leeper, Caroline Smith, Jessica Smith and Lauren Williams were each selected to the Academic All-Big 12 first team with a 3.20 or above grade point average.

Senior Amy Geha and sophomore Nikki Alvarez were also honored by the league as they were each selected to the Academic All-Big 12 second team, for posting a GPA from 3.00 to 3.19.

Six volleyball players were among the 52 student-athletes named to the 2004 Volleyball Academic All-Big 12 Team by the league office. Seniors Ashley Bechard, Jill Dorsey, Ashley Michaels and Lindsey Morris and sophomores Jana Correa and Jamie Mathewson were honored for achieving a 3.0 or better cumulative grade point average.

Dorsey, Michaels and Morris are now three-time honorees while Bechard, Correa and Mathewson were named academic all-league for the first time. Kansas was one of three Big 12 institutions (Kansas State and Oklahoma) to name six selections. Nebraska and Missouri led the league with seven honorees apiece.

In October two members of the men's cross country team were selected to the first team. Senior D.J. Hilding and sophomore Tyler Kelly both made the list. Senior Monika Springer and sophomores Laura Major and Dena Seibel were named to the first team for the women. Sophomore Jessie Violand was named to the league second team.

"We have true student athletes," head coach Stanley Redwine said. "When we recruit athletes, we don't recruit them to only do well in cross country or track, we recruit them to do well in the classroom."

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