North Dakota's Josh LaBlanc and South Dakota's Alexa Duling Named Scholar-Athletes
Aug. 16, 2011
NAPERVILLE, Ill. - University of North Dakota cross country and track athlete Josh LaBlanc and University of South Dakota track athlete Alexa Duling have been selected the Great West Conference Scholar-Athletes for 2010-11. The award is the single highest individual award bestowed by the Conference and honors the outstanding academic achievement, athletic achievement, attitude and leadership of one male and one female student-athlete.
LaBlanc was a four-year letterman for North Dakota in cross country and track & field and won the 3,000 meters at the 2011 GWC Indoor Track & Field Championship. The native of International Falls, Minn., graduated with honors this past spring from North Dakota with a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering. LaBlanc, who has been active in campus and community service projects while a student at UND, is continuing his athletic endeavors by training for the upcoming U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials.
As a junior on the Coyote women's track & field team, Duling won three Great West track & field championships in 2011--the 400 meters and 200 meters at the indoor championship and the 400 meters at the outdoor championship. Duling is from Gregory, S.D., and is a biology major who plans to be a physician after graduation. In addition to her outstanding athletic achievements, Duling has a long list of service projects and has published her research results in a peer-reviewed journal.
"I want to congratulate Josh and Alexa on being selected the Great West Conference Scholar-Athletes," said GWC Commissioner Ed Grom. "The demand on the student-athletes' time is immense, and all the individuals who were nominated for this award have found the right balance. I am always amazed how these young people continue to shine on and off the athletic field."
To be eligible for the award a student-athlete must be a junior or senior who has completed two seasons of athletic competition in a conference sponsored sport at a member institution and must have a minimum grade point average of 3.2. The student-athlete must display an examplary mental attitude toward his or her peers and academic and athletic mentors, including leadership, maturity, integrity and contributions to the community. Each institution can nominate one male and one female student-athlete for the award through its faculty athletics representative, and the honorees are determined by a vote of the member institutions.
Other athletes nominated for the award were Chicago State's Courtney Waldon (basketball) and Matt Jordan (track & field); Houston Baptist's Mollye Mlcak (softball) and Robbie Buller (baseball); NJIT's Jessica Gerald (basketball) and Josh-Erik Dolisca (track & field); North Dakota's Mallory Youngblut (basketball); South Dakota's Chris Ganious (football); Texas-Pan American's Melinda Sarmiento (track & field) and Omar Doria (track & field); and Utah Valley's Kayli Doxey (volleyball) and Joshua McCabe (track & field).