Four Owls Earn C-USA Scholar-Athlete Award

Seth Gearhart, Evan Karakolis, Belle MacFarlane and Brian Nordstrom were named the C-USA Scholar Athletes of the Year in their respective sports.
July 9, 2015 By Kenny Bybee (

Seth Gearhart, Evan Karakolis, Belle MacFarlane and Brian Nordstrom have all been named recipients of the 2014-15 Conference USA Scholar Athlete of the Year awards for their respective sports, C-USA Commissioner Britton Banowsky announced Thursday (July 8).

Determined by the league’s Faculty Athletics Representatives, the C-USA Scholar Athlete of the Year awards are presented to the top student-athlete in each conference-sponsored sport. The award is based on grade point average, athletic achievement and community service.

Rice’s led the league with the four Scholar-Athlete award-winners, followed by UTEP with three representatives.

Gearhart (men’s basketball) was recently named Rice’s Conference USA Spirit of Service Award winner. This past season the Wilsonville, Oregon native ranked seventh in C-USA averaging 15.3 points per game en route to earning second-team all-conference honors. He also ranked fifth in free-throw percentage (81.6), sixth in three-pointers (2.16 per game) and eighth in three-point percentage (39.9). In the classroom Gearhart posted a 3.32 GPA while majoring in Economics.

Karakolis (men’s track & field) holds a 4.09 GPA while majoring in Mechanical Engineering and this season was named to the Capital One Academic All-American First Team. The Scarborough, Ontario native placed 14th at the NCAA West Prelims in the javelin and won three individual titles, along with breaking his own school record with a throw of 72.76m.

MacFarlane (women’s track & field) earned her second straight C-USA All-Academic Team honor this year and placed third in the high jump at the C-USA Outdoor Championships. A native of Dallas, Texas, MacFarlane boasts a 3.89 GPA while majoring in Kinesiology. MacFarlane also won the high jump at the Victor Lopez Classic and was the top collegiate finisher at the Occidental Invitational.

Nordstrom (football) was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-American Second Team and earned a spot on the C-USA First-Team All-Conference squad. A member of the 2015 NFF Hampshire Honor Society, The Woodlands native started all 13 games in 2014 and tallied 49 tackles with a league-leading 19.5 for loss, including 7.5 sacks. He graduated in May with a degree in Civil Engineering and a 3.63 GPA.

Baseball: James McMahon, Southern Miss
Men’s Basketball: Seth Gearhart, Rice
Women’s Basketball: Cameasha Turner, UTEP
Men’s Cross Country: Elphas Maiyo, UTEP
Women’s Cross Country: Mary Lever, WKU
Football: Brian Nordstrom, Rice
Men’s Golf: Brett Patterson, Middle Tennessee
Women’s Golf: Camino Sardinero, UTEP
Men’s Soccer: Braeden Troyer, South Carolina
Women’s Soccer: Kelly Culicerto, Marshall
Softball: Megan Low, UTSA
Women’s Swimming & Diving: Krista Rossum, North Texas
Men’s Tennis: Carlos Lopez Villa, Old Dominion
Women’s Tennis: Franziksa Sprinkmeyer, North Texas
Men’s Track & Field: Evan Karakolis, Rice
Women’s Track & Field: Belle MacFarlane, Rice
Volleyball: Samantha Bane, Marshall/Dempsey Thornton, UTSA




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