May 3, 2010
    Blakely and Stewart take home prestigious Skelton Awards
    More than 130 student-athletes honored for their work on and off the field

    The Virginia Tech athletics department spent portions of the past two weekends honoring student-athletes for their work not just in the playing venue, but also in the classroom and in the community. First, select student-athletes were honored at the Athletic Director’s Honors Breakfast on April 25 and then all teams attended the All-Sports Banquet held Monday night.

    Women’s tennis player Martha Blakely and swimmer Trey Stewart were honored when they were named the 2010 Skelton Award winners at the Athletics Director’s Honors Breakfast. The Skelton Award for Academic Excellence in Athletics, arguably the top honor handed out by the Tech athletics department, is named for Dr. Bill and Peggy Skelton. Dr. Skelton served as a dean at Tech and had a 70-year affiliation with the university before passing away in late August of 2008, and Peggy Skelton is an emeritus member of the Virginia Tech faculty who, along with her husband, served as a charter member of the Ut Prosim Society and its President’s Circle, the university’s highest distinction for donors.

    This award is given each year to a junior, senior or rising fifth-year varsity student-athlete. Candidates must have participated in an intercollegiate sport for at least two competitive seasons and must have a grade-point average of 3.4 or higher. Winners receive a one-time $5,000 scholarship for the upcoming academic year.

    Blakely, a native of Reading, Pa., is majoring in biochemistry, chemistry and mathematics. She is currently in the honors program, and has been a member of the Virginia Tech College of Science Dean’s List and AD’s Honor Roll since her inception at Virginia Tech.

    She has volunteered her time at Hokie Nights, Winning Choices assemblies, and the Montgomery County Christmas Store. She also is a member of the Economics, Chemistry, and Math Clubs and tutors for the Center for Academic Enrichment and Excellence in her spare time.

    Stewart, a native of Luling, La., is majoring in biochemistry, with a minor in chemistry. He has been a member of the Dean’s List, AD’s Honor Roll, and the All-ACC Academic Team since 2007. In 2007 and 2008, he earned the College Swimming Coaches Association of America honorable mention academic All-American status.

    During the 2007 season, Stewart finished ninth overall in the 200 butterfly and recorded career-best marks at the 2009 ACC Championships. In the community, Trey has been a H2Okie Swim Clinic Coach and volunteered with the Montgomery Country Christmas Store. He also has given his time as a YMCA Healthy Kids Day volunteer and is a worship leader at New Life Christian Fellowship. In 2005, Trey served as a Hurricane Katrina relief volunteer.

    Also, each year, the ACC sponsors a male and female scholar athlete of the year for each member institution to recognize. This honor goes to two athletes who have distinguished themselves in the classroom and in their athletic pursuits, and this year’s winners are women’s soccer standout Robin Chidester and track and field athlete Matej Muza, both of whom were honored at the AD’s Honors Breakfast.

    Chidester, a senior from Virginia Beach, Va., holds a 3.6 GPA while majoring in communications. She made the ACC’s all-academic squad for women’s soccer and the AD’s Honor Roll all four years. She also served as a member of the athletics department’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.

    Robin has been a very special part of a very special class during her time on the women's soccer team,” Tech women’s soccer coach Kelly Cagle said. “ She has gotten the most out of her experience and has truly lived the life of a successful student-athlete at Virginia Tech. Robin beautifully balances her life as a student, athlete and philanthropist, and will leave a legacy to our team through heightened standards in each of these areas.

    “Her zest for life and her passion have been assets to our Hokie soccer family for the past four years. We hope to honor her passion in future seasons, and want Robin to know that her impact, though sometimes indescribable, will be felt for many years to come.”

    Muza, a native of Zagreb, Croatia, will graduate with a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in geography. He is a two-time All-American in the hammer throw and a five-time All-ACC member combined in the weight throw and hammer throw. He made the ACC’s all-academic squad three times, and like Chidester, made the AD’s Honor Roll all four years. He carries a perfect GPA in graduate school.

    Matej has been an outstanding leader for our men’s program over the past four years,” director of track and field operations Dave Cianelli said. “During his tenure, our men’s team has improved from seventh place in the ACC his freshman year to runner up and two third-place finishes. His academic performance has been nothing short of phenomenal and he has consistently been a national level competitor in the weight throw indoors and hammer throw outdoors.”

    At the All-Sports Banquet, the department honored five student-athletes as scholar athletes of the year. This group earned perfect 4.0 grade-point averages for the 2009 calendar year and includes Kelly Phillips (women’s track and field), Caitlin Thornley (women’s track and field), Blakely (women’s tennis), Jennifer Harvey (women’s soccer) and Christopher Sherman (cheerleading).

    The ACC sponsors a Top Six for Service Award each year in recognition of the thousands of hours student-athletes collectively volunteer in their communities. Each year, six outstanding student-athletes from each member institution who have demonstrated an exemplary service attitude are chosen for this special honor. At Tech, those honored at the All-Sports Banquet were Jacquelyn Duggins (lacrosse), Eddie Judge (men’s cross country), Jackie Merrick (women’s cross country), Chidester (women’s soccer), Blakely (women’s tennis) and David Marone (wrestling).

    The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) selected a SAAC Member of the Year. This year’s recipient demonstrated outstanding leadership to this all-important committee that serves a vital role within the athletics department. Pedro Graber (men’s tennis) was named the SAAC Member of the Year.

    Also at the All-Sports Banquet, the department also honored the All-Academic team, which includes those who have earned the highest grade-point average in their respective sports. Each team at Tech recognized a rookie of the year, a coaches award winner (to the consummate team player) and a most valuable performer. The strength and conditioning staff also recognized one team member from each sport who demonstrated outstanding dedication in the weight room and in conditioning themselves for their competitive season.

    For photos of the evening, please check

    Sean Ryan - All Academic Team
    Sean Ryan - Strength & Conditioning
    Joe Mantiply - Rookie
    Luke Padgett - Coaches
    Ben Rowen - Most Valuable

    Men's Basketball
    Paul Debnam - All Academic Team
    Lewis Witcher - Strength & Conditioning
    Erick Green - Rookie
    Dorenzo Hudson - Coaches
    Malcolm Delaney - Most Valuable

    Women's Basketball
    Lindsay Biggs - All Academic Team
    Lakeisha Logan - Strength & Conditioning
    Alyssa Fenyn - Rookie
    Brittany Gordon - Coaches
    Utahya Drye - Most Valuable
    Lindsay Biggs - Most Valuable

    Chris Sherman - All Academic Team (Scholar Athlete of the Year)
    Andrea Flack & Bryon Russell - Strength & Conditioning
    Amanda Moore - Rookie
    Will Nance - Coaches
    Bryon Russell - Most Valuable

    Men's Cross Country
    Paul LaPenna - All Academic Team
    Tihut Degfae - Rookie
    Will Mulherin - Coaches
    Devin Cornwall - Most Valuable

    Women's Cross Country
    Erin Stehle - All Academic Team
    Lauren Lemieux - Rookie
    Samantha Dow - Coaches
    Jessica Trapeni - Most Valuable

    Jeff Beyer - All Academic Team
    Kenny Younger - Strength & Conditioning
    Ryan Williams - Rookie
    Cam Martin - Coaches
    Cody Grimm - Most Valuable

    Aaron Eckstein - All Academic Team
    Marshall Bailey - Strength & Conditioning
    Aaron Eckstein - Coaches
    Mikey Moyers - Rookie & Most Valuable

    Lydia Tran - All Academic Team
    Amanda Nguyen - Strength & Conditioning
    Emily Kruklinski - Rookie
    Tiona Bland - Coaches
    Amanda Nguyen - Most Valuable

    Julie Wolfinger - All Academic Team
    Jacquelyn Duggins - Strength & Conditioning
    Alex Gale - Rookie
    Jacquelyn Duggins - Coaches
    Liz Carpenter - Most Valuable

    Men's Soccer
    Craig Burnell - All Academic Team
    Thomas St. Germain - Strength & Conditioning
    David Fiorello - Rookie
    Brendan Dunn - Coaches
    James Gilson - Most Valuable

    Women's Soccer
    Jennifer Harvey - All Academic Team (Scholar Athlete of the Year)
    Kelly Lynch - Strength & Conditioning
    Kelly Conheeney - Rookie
    Julian Johnson - Coaches
    Marika Gray - Most Valuable
    Jennifer Harvey - Most Valuable

    Alicia Field - All Academic Team
    Marra Hvozdovic - Strength & Conditioning
    Bkaye Smith - Rookie
    Courtney Liddle - Coaches
    Richelle McGarva - Most Valuable

    Men's Swimming & Diving
    Trey Stewart - All Academic Team (Skelton Award)
    Stephen Hawkins - Strength & Conditioning
    Greg Mahon - Rookie
    Charlie Higgins - Coaches
    Mikey McDonald - Most Valuable

    Women's Swimming & Diving
    Abby Barney - All Academic Team
    Morgan Allen - Strength & Conditioning
    Katarina Filova - Rookie
    Lauren Ritter - Coaches
    Erika Hajnal - Most Valuable

    Men's Tennis
    Pedro Graber - All Academic Team
    Patrick Daciek - Strength & Conditioning
    Will Beck - Rookie
    Corrado Degl' Incerti Tocci - Coaches
    Luka Somen - Most Valuable
    Yoann Re - Most Valuable
    Pedro Graber - SAAC Member of the Year

    Women's Tennis
    Martha Blakely - All Academic Team (Scholar Athlete of the Year & Skelton Award)
    Shannon Betts - Strength & Conditioning
    Emily Lauten - Rookie
    Shannon Betts - Coaches
    Yasmin Hamza - Most Valuable

    Men's Track & Field
    Matej Muza - All Academic Team
    Nobel Iyebote - Strength & Conditioning
    Alexander Ziegler - Rookie
    Ebenezer Amagashie - Coaches
    Marcel Lomnicky - Most Valuable
    Igor Misljenovic - Most Valuable
    Yavgeniy Olhovsky - Most Valuable

    Women's Track & Field
    Kelly Phillips & Caitlin Thornley - All Academic Team (Scholar Athletes of the Year)
    Asia Washington - Strength & Conditioning
    Samantha Dow - Rookie
    Asia Washington - Coaches
    Queen Harrison - Most Valuable

    Gemma Donovan - All Academic Team
    Taylor Parrish - Strength & Conditioning
    Cara Baarendse - Rookie
    Michelle Lang - Coaches
    Taylor Parrish - Coaches
    Erin Leaser - Most Valuable
    Justine Record - Most Valuable

    Tim Miller - All Academic Team
    Chris Diaz - Strength & Conditioning
    Brian Stephens - Rookie
    Jesse Dong - Coaches
    Chris Diaz - Most Valuable

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