By: Kenny Bybee (email@example.com)
IRVING, Texas - Belle MacFarlane and Katherine Ip have been named recipients of the 2015-16 Conference USA Scholar Athlete of the Year awards for their respective sports, the league office announced on Tuesday.
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.
MacFarlane (women's track & field), from Dallas, graduated with a 4.01 GPA while double majoring in Kinesiology and Psychology. This past year MacFarlane was a CoSIDA All-Academic District 7 team selection and earned all-conference honors with a second place finish in the high jump at the C-USA Outdoor Championships. A four-time C-USA Academic Honor Roll recipient, MacFarlane was the lone repeat winner from a year ago among Tuesday's C-USA Scholar Athlete Award winners.
Ip (women's tennis), from Hong Kong, carries a cumulative 3.97 GPA in Kinesiology in the classroom and became the third Owl in history to earn women's tennis All-American honors in singles after reaching the Sweet 16 in May. She upset No. 4 seed Brooke Austin of Florida, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, in her opening match and then Georgia Tech's Paige Hourigan, 2-6, 6-4, 7-5, to join Wendy Wood (1985 & 86) and Natalie Beazant (2013 & 2015) as the only Owls to earn All-American honors in singles. She is a two-time recipient of the C-USA Commissioner's Medal as well as earning first team all-conference honors in singles for three consecutive years.
2015-16 CONFERENCE USA SCHOLAR ATHLETE AWARD WINNERS
Baseball: Brett Lashley, Florida Atlantic; Chase Boster, Marshall
Men's Basketball: Nick Norton, UAB
Women's Basketball: Kendall Noble, WKU
Men's Cross Country: Bryce McAndrew, North Texas
Women's Cross Country: Alexandra Phares, Marshall
Football: Lee McNeil, Charlotte
Men's Golf: Cory Churchman, North Texas
Women's Soccer: Claire Emslie, Florida Atlantic
Women's Swimming & Diving: Mackenzie Payment, Old Dominion
Men's Tennis: Jordi Massalle Ferrer, Charlotte
Women's Tennis: Katherine Ip, Rice
Men's Track & Field: Connor Bey, North Texas
Women's Track & Field: Belle MacFarlane, Rice*
Volleyball: Ally Kiekover, Marshall