June 8, 2009
IRVING, Texas - Rice University had four student-athletes garner 2008-09 Conference USA Scholar Athlete of the Year Awards as announced Monday by C-USA Commissioner Britton Banowsky and approved by the league's Board of Directors.
C-USA Scholar Athlete of the Year awards are annually presented to the top student-athlete in each conference-sponsored sport. The awards are based on academic achievement (GPA), athletic achievement and service.
Rice University's Phillip Adam (men's track and field), Aleks Perka (men's basketball), Allison Pye (women's cross country) and Lennie Waite (women's cross country) were all named Scholar Athlete of the Year for their respective sports.
Rice's four selections were the most of any Conference USA member. Nine of C-USA's 12 institutions produced at least one scholar athlete winner.
Adam was a repeat selection to the 2009 Conference USA All-Academic Team. The junior decathlete was a 2008 CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine All-District VI first-team selection. The 2009 C-USA Outdoor decathlon champion currently carries a 3.94 grade point average as an economics major.
As a senior, Perka more than doubled his previous career scoring and rebounding averages. He averaged 6.7 points and 4.5 rebounds per game as a senior for the Owls. The sports management major carries a 3.09 grade point average.
Pye placed eighth at last fall's NCAA South Central Region and also posted a fifth-place finish at the Conference USA Championship to earn all-conference first-team honors. The sophomore has a 3.99 cumulative grade point average.
Waite will compete for Rice at this week's NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in the 3000 meter steeplechase. She was named the C-USA Indoor Track Athlete of the Year after earning All-American honors by finishing sixth in the mile at the NCAA Indoors in a school record time of 4:38.60. Waite graduated cum laude from Rice last May and maintains a 3.96 grade point average.