July 6, 2009
CINCINNATI - Five University of Cincinnati student-athletes were among 21 winners of the 2008-09 BIG EAST Conference Scholar-Athlete Sport Excellence Awards, which recognize academic and athletic achievement as well as community service, the league office announced Monday.
UC's five selections was tied for the most among league schools with Notre Dame.
Elinore de Jong (Women's Swimming & Diving), Kevin Huber (Football), Randy King (Cross Country), Jessie Nevitt (Volleball), and Josh Schneider (Men's Swimming & Diving) were the Bearcats honored.
The Scholar-Athlete Sport Excellence Awards are given to one student-athlete in each BIG EAST sport based on academic credentials, athletic accolades or performances and volunteer service to the community. Student-athletes who attained junior academic standing and a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.00 are eligible. The winners are chosen by the BIG EAST faculty athletic representatives.
De Jong tallied a pair of NCAA 'B' times in the 100 freestyle, and 100 butterfly, as well as a school record in the 100 freestyle, earning the women's Ann & Clem Buenger Most Valuable Swimmer honor, as well as the team's Championship Performance Award. She placed second in the 100 butterfly at the BIG EAST Championships, earning all-league honors, and was involved in setting six school records during the 2009 season. She was also named an honorable mention Scholar All-American by the College Swimming Coaches Association of America.
Huber was the first UC player to earn back-to-back Associated Press First Team all-America honors. He earned multiple all-America honors in 2008, including First-Team all-America honors by Rivals.com, the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), and the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA). He was also a First-Team All-BIG EAST selection and was a Consensus First-Team All-American in 2007.
He led the BIG EAST and ranked seventh nationally with a 45.0 yards per punt average. He has a long kick of 64 yards in 2008, 24 punts inside the 20, and 20 kicks of 50 yards or more. Only three of his 60 punts in 2008 were touchbacks. UC led the nation in net punting for the second-straight season. He was recently named to the National Football Foundation's Hampshire Honor Society
During the cross country campaign, King was the top finisher for UC in two meets, including a first-place finish at the Mel Brodt Invitational. King also was the top finisher for the Bearcats at the Great Lakes Regional, crossing the line in a 36th-place time of 32:19.1 in the 10k.
King owns a 3.97 grade point average in electrical engineering and will complete his degree in June, 2010. King was recently named a Third-Team Academic All-American by ESPN The Magazine and the College Sports Information Directors of America.
Nevitt was the first three-time All-America selection in UC volleyball history surpassing Julie DuPont, who was a two-time AVCA All-America selection in 2003 and 2004.
Nevitt averaged 3.13 kills per set and 1.34 blocks per set, while hitting at a .389 clip, in 2008. In BIG EAST conference-only action, Nevitt was the only player to finish in the Top 10 in hitting percentage (.461), kills (3.54 kps) and blocks (1.30 bps). Due to her play in conference, Nevitt was a unanimous first-team all-BIG EAST selection, making her the only player in UC volleyball history to earn four first-team all-conference awards in a career. Nevitt's .389 hitting percentage for the season ranks third on UC's single-season hitting percentage chart, while her 142 block assists ties for eighth place on the single-season chart.
Schneider was an honorable mention all-America selection in the 50 freestyle for the second-straight season. He qualified for three events at the NCAA meet, and was also selected as a CSCAA First-Team Academic All-American. Schneider was named the BIG EAST's Most Outstanding Men's Swimmer at the league championship meet in February after winning three individual championships while setting UC and BIG EAST records in each event. He swam in 22 dual meet races in 2008, winning 15 and placing second seven times.