Pac-10 Announces 2011 Spring Scholar-Athletes of the Year, Presented by Toyo Tires

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - The Pac-10 Conference has named the spring Scholar-Athletes of the Year, presented by Toyo Tires®. These awards have been established to honor collegiate student-athletes that are standouts both academically and in their sports discipline. 

The Pac-10 Scholar-Athletes for spring include:
Chris Mezger, USC - Baseball, 3.78 - linguistics
Jack Dukeminier, Oregon - Men's golf, 4.03 UG/3.88 grad - general business 
Pia Halbig, California - Women's golf, 3.67 - media studies 
Alex Syverson, Stanford - Men's rowing, 3.70  - economics
Erika Roddy, Stanford - Women's rowing, 3.83 - human biology 
Jaak Poldma, USC - Men's tennis, 3.65 - communications & political science 
Venise Chan, Washington - Women's tennis, 3.63 - business administration/marketing
Elliott Heath, Stanford - Men's track & field, 3.58 - mechanical engineering 
Kate Niehaus, Stanford - Women's track & field, 4.05 -  bioengineering 
Lesley Rogers,  Arizona State - Softball, 3.80 - sociology   

"It is always a challenge selecting the Pac-10 Scholar-Athletes of the Year because there are so many remarkable student-athletes in our Conference," Pac-10 Commissioner Larry Scott said. "The Pac-10 is extremely proud of it's heritage of academic and athletic excellence and this group of student-athletes is an example of achieving balance and success at the highest levels."

In order to be eligible for the Pac-10 Scholar-Athlete of the Year award, student-athletes must be a senior (in athletics eligibility) on track to receive a degree, have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher, participate in at least 50% of the scheduled contests in the sport and have a minimum of one year in residence at the institution. Each Pac-10 institution may nominate one individual per sport, and the winners are selected by a committee of Pac-10 staff members at the conclusion of each sport's regular season.  The athletic accomplishments of the nominees are a consideration in the voting for the award.

A Scholar-Athlete of the Year will be named in each of the Pac-10's 22 sponsored sports: baseball, men's basketball, women's basketball, men's cross country, women's cross country, football, men's golf, women's golf, women's gymnastics, men's rowing, women's rowing, men's soccer, women's soccer, softball, men's swimming & diving, women's swimming & diving, men's tennis, women's tennis, men's track & field, women's track & field, women's volleyball, and wrestling.

Scholar-Athletes of the Year in each sport will receive a commemorative award. Toyo® will donate $1,000 to the scholarship funds of the institution's athletic department of each winner in recognition of their accomplishments.

"Toyo is proud to support the Pac-10 and to acknowledge outstanding student-athletes for their efforts," said Stan Chen, manager of events and motorsports, Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. "By supporting today's achievers, we feel we are helping to grow tomorrow's leaders."

The Pac-10 Conference, in cooperation with Pac-10 corporate partner Toyo Tires, established the "Pac-10 Scholar-Athlete of the Year Awards, presented by Toyo Tires" during the 2007-08 academic year.

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1:30 AM PT

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