July 19, 2012
IRVING, Tex. - Rice's Connor Frizzelle, Sam Garforth-Bles and Becky Wade have all been named recipients of the 2011-12 Conference USA Scholar Athlete of the Year awards for their respective sports, C-USA Commissioner Britton Banowsky announced Wednesday (July 19).
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 shared the league lead with three Scholar-Athlete award-winners. Becky Wade earned the honor for women's track and field, Sam Garforth-Bles for men's tennis, and Connor Frizzelle for men's basketball.
It's the second time in as many years for Frizzelle to earn the honor. As a senior starter for the Owls' 19-win basketball team, the Red Oak, Tex., native averaged 9.5 points per game with a total of 63 assists and 26 steals in more than 935 minutes of playing time. Frizzelle was a three-time C-USA All-Academic honoree as a Kinesiology major.
Garforth-Bles earned first team all-conference after finishing his senior year with a 16-8 singles record. The native of Bragg Creek, Alberta, Canada, moved into the No. 1 singles position midway through the year and posted an 8-6 record while facing the opposing team's top player. He was 4-2 against C-USA opponents, including a 3-1 mark during the regular season.
Wade has added another prestigious award to an already impressive resume that includes All-America status in all three sports. The Dallas native won C-USA titles this year in the mile at the indoor championships, and doubled with gold medals in the 5,000 and 10,000-meter races in the outdoor season. After the collegiate season she went on to reach the finals of the 3-000 meter steeplechase at the U.S. Olympic Trials. In the classroom, Wade was an easy choice for Academic All-America honors after graduating with a 4.00 GPA while majoring in sociology, history and psychology.
2011-12 CONFERENCE USA SCHOLAR ATHLETE AWARD WINNERS:
Keith DePew, UAB
* Connor Frizzelle
Roxana Button, Houston, and TaRonda Randall, UAB
Men's Cross Country:
Bill Martin, Tulsa
Women's Cross Country:
Rhiannon Johns, UAB
Case Keenum, Houston, and Matthew Milner, East Carolina
Jack Belote, Memphis
Marissa Stein, Memphis
*Chelsey Lauzon, UCF
Adam Still, SMU
Kimberly "Kimmy" Cummings, East Carolina
Natalie Land, UCF
Women's Swimming & Diving:
Denise Smolenova, SMU
Men's Tennis: Sam Garforth-Bles
, Rice, and Clifford Marsland, Tulsa
Courtney Collins, Memphis
Men's Track and Field:
Carl Stones, Tulsa
Women's Track and Field: Becky Wade
Kelsey Seymour, Southern Miss
* Repeat winner