Augustana Vikings excel on the courts and in the classrooms

The Augustana Vikings boast academic awards for 64 of their student-athletes, the highest number of awards received in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference this year.

Tia Lalani - 11 October 2019

Over the last year, 64 student-athletes won academic awards, the highest number in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference. Pictured: a sampling of students who received academic awards at last year's celebration.

Usually, when we praise our student-athletes, it's for placing second in a national race, or sinking that game-winning basket. In this case, it's for all of that, and much more.

64 student-athletes from the last academic year have achieved a GPA of 3.5 or higher, meeting Augustana's honours standing, and as such, are recipients of either a Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) National Scholar Award, an Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) Academic Athletic Award, and in most cases, both. Augustana leads with the most scholar-athletes in the entirety of the ACAC.

"We are extremely fortunate at Augustana to have so many amazing athletes on our campus as valuable members of our community," said Johnathan Hawkins, Augustana's Assistant Registrar. "Every one of them has worked long and hard to become outstanding in their particular field of sporting endeavour-indeed, it takes total commitment, total effort to achieve at this level. To also be excellent students in their field of scholarly endeavour takes an equal amount of commitment and effort, and the results are, well, incredible."

On Tuesday, October 15, these student-athletes will be celebrated with a modest ceremony. Many of the Vikings are modest themselves, including Vikings golf team captain Michael Harrison, who received both awards.

"To be recognized as a national scholar means that my efforts in the classroom and library have paid off," Michael said simply, also mentioning the shortness of the golf season and the fact that the competitions are mostly on weekends. However, Michael also recently placed second overall at the ACAC golf provincials and will soon head to Quebec to take part in nationals, meaning that his hard work both on the golf course and his physical education courses are being recognized.

Rae Metrunec, another student-athlete who will bring home both award certificates next Tuesday, and who followed her path to the Vikings volleyball team as a kind of family legacy (both of her older sisters attended Augustana and one played on the volleyball team herself) admits that learning time management was the key to her success in the classroom.

"I find that I'm able to balance things out properly with the right prioritizing," she said, "and it means a lot to be recognized as a national scholar, as my education has always been very important to me."

Rae plans to pursue a master's in astrophysics after her degree at Augustana, and eventually work in astronomy, or teach math and physics at a university level.

With the dedication and drive that these 64 athletes have shown both on and off of the court, it's not surprising that for some, the sky isn't even the limit.

Join us for the Vikings Scholar Awards Recognition Event on Tuesday, October 15 from 1:40 to 2:05 pm. There will be a short program and certificate presentations, followed by photos and treats.