Bears Claim 11 Spots on MVC Swimming & Diving Scholar-Athlete Team


Feb. 28, 2012

ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- After bringing home the hardware from the 2012 State Farm MVC Swimming & Diving Championships, the Missouri State swimming & diving program continues to pick up additional honors as they placed 11 student-athletes on the 2012 MVC Scholar-Athlete team, the Valley announced Monday.

In all, forty-two student-athletes qualified for the award, with two student-athletes averaging a perfect 4.0 grade point average, while 14 had above a 3.8 GPA. The Bears claimed the most spots on the Scholar-Athlete team with 11, followed by Illinois State with nine representatives.

Earning MVC-Scholar Athlete honors were seniors Brynne Buell, Liz Chollet, Dimitra Drakopoulou, Katie Lindeman, Laura Peterson, Ali Stauffer and Brianna Willoughby, junior Kaylee Steffen and sophomores Lindsey Conway, Janke Engelbrecht and Paige Koebbe.

Buell collected her second consecutive MVC Scholar-Athlete award. At this year’s conference meet, she logged career bests in all of her events including the 100 back, 200 back and 100 fly. She was named to the All-MVC honorable mention team after placing fifth in the championship finals of the 200 back.

After re-joining the team in January, Chollet closed out her career with top performances at the MVC Championships. Her top scores of the season came in Carbondale, Ill. where she placed 11th in the 1-meter and 10th in the 3-meter.

For the second straight season, Drakopoulou is a member of the Scholar-Athlete team. The senior captain capped off her career with her first-ever individual gold medal at the MVC Championships in the 1650 free. The school record holder in the 500 free, 1000 free and 1650 free, was also named to the All-MVC first team for the fourth time in as many years.

Lindeman has received the MVC Scholar-Athlete distinction in all three years that she has been eligible. In the pool, she is a four-time All-MVC honorable mention selection and this season placed in the championship finals in 200 fly and 400 IM at conference.

Like Lindeman, Peterson is collecting her third MVC Scholar-Athlete honor in as many years. For the first year in her career, she earned All-MVC honorable mention honors after qualifying for the A-Final in the 200 free (8th).

Stauffer was named an MVC Scholar-Athlete for the first time in her career. Ranked as one of the top sprint freestylers in the MVC this season, she earned All-MVC first team accolades for the third consecutive year. She was a member of three first-place relays including the 200 free relay, 200 medley relay and 400 medley relay.

Willoughby is the third Bear to have made the MVC Scholar-Athlete team all three years. The versatile senior captain finished the season ranked among the top-five MSU swimmers in five different events and was named to the All-MVC first team for the fourth year in-a-row. Willoughby grabbed two silver medals in the 400 IM and as a part of the 400 free relay.

Steffen, a junior from Oklahoma City, put together another stellar performance at the MVC Championships, placing in the top-8 in all three events (200 back, 200 IM and 400 IM). It is the second time that she has been recognized as a MVC Scholar-Athlete.

The group of Conway, Engelbrecht and Koebbe all collected MVC Scholar-Athlete awards in their first year eligible as sophomores. Conway ended the 2011-12 slate with the top scores in both the 1- and 3-meter and was named to the All-MVC honorable mention squad for the second time. Engelbrecht, a two-time All-MVC first teamer, snagged a gold medal in the 200 free relay, while tying for third in the 50 free and placing fourth in the 100 back. Koebbe made the championship finals for the first time in her career on the 3-meter board and finished fifth.

To be eligible for the Scholar-Athlete honors, athletes must be a sophomore and maintain either a 3.2 GPA and obtain all-conference honors, a 3.5 GPA and a top-16 finish in an individual event at the MVC Championships, or a 3.8 GPA and participate in the Championships.

For a complete listing of the Scholar-Athlete team, click here.



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