San Bruno, CA – Six Saint Mary’s fall athletes earned West Coast Conference All-Academic honors, as released by the conference today. Making the list were men’s soccer players, Jordan Grider and Corey Heldreth, women’s volleyball players, Megan Burton and Shannon Lowell, women’s cross country runner, Karrie Hagedorn, and men's cross country runner Mario Mendoza.
Burton, a junior from Kapolei, HI, finished the regular season with a 2.16 kills per set average, and impressive.355 hitting percentage. The middle blocker was also a force at the net on defense, averaging a team-high 1.16 blocks per game. Burton was named to the WCC All-Conference Team, is majoring in Business Administration and currently has a GPA of 3.32. Lowell, a sophomore from San Jose, CA, had a breakout season for the Gaels, as she led the team in attacking with a team-high 3.45 kill per set average in conference play. The middle blocker was successful on 183 of her 368 attempts, posting an incredible .383 hitting percentage. In addition, Lowell totaled 60 total blocks, averaging 1.13 per set. Lowell, a WCC All-Conference honoree, has yet to declare her major but currently has a 3.52 GPA.
Hagedorn a senior from Salem, OR, finished the season earning West Coast Conference Honorable Mention honors for her 13th place finish in the WCC Championships at Crystal Springs Course in Belmont, CA. Hagedorn re-wrote the Saint Mary’s College record books running a record time of 21:50 at the UC Davis Invitational, she also ran the third and ninth fastest times in the 6K for SMC. Hagedorn was the pulse of the team finishing first every race for the Gaels, and for the second straight season competed in the NCAA West Regionals. Hagedorn graduated with a degree in Politics with a 3.58 GPA.
Mendoza a senior from Cambria, CA, finished the season earning First Team All-West Coast Conference honors, after finishing fourth in the WCC Championships. The fourth place finish is the best finish ever for a Saint Mary’s male runner. In his senior season Mendoza totally rewrote the SMC record book, running the fastest time in the 8K with a 24:35 at the Sundodger Invite in Seattle, WA. Mendoza also ran the second, fourth and sixth fastest in Gaels’ history. Mendoza was named the West Coast Conference player of the month for his brilliant September. Mendoza will graduate with a degree in Psychology and currently holds a GPA of 3.26.
Grider, a sophomore out of Concord, CA had a breakout year for the Gaels, earning West Coast Conference Honorable Mention honors. Grider was one of the keys to a stingy defense that posted a 1.34 goal against average. Grider started all 19 games for Saint Mary’s and proved to be an offensive threat as well, as a tough defender, he notched two crucial goals on the season, his second was a game-tying goal in the 84th minute at Santa Clara. Grider is majoring in Physics and has a GPA of 3.50. Heldreth, the senior captain from Sumner, WA finished his brilliant career in Moraga, earning his second consecutive West Coast Conference Second Team accolade. Heldreth was a stalwart defender playing his best against the toughest competition. Heldreth is majoring in Accounting and currently holds a GPA of 3.37.
The 2008 West Coast Conference Fall All-Academic teams honor some of the league’s finest examples of the consummate scholar-athlete. At the completion of each athletic season, the WCC selects an all-academic squad for each of the participating sponsored sports. To be considered, a student-athlete must earn at least a 3.20 cumulative grade point average, while also being a significant contributor to his or her team.
“The West Coast Conference is proud to honor these extraordinary student-athletes who prove that athletic success can be achieved without compromising academic excellence,” said WCC Commissioner Jamie Zaninovch. “These nominees personify the core values of our member institutions and they should all be congratulated for their efforts.”