High Point, N.C. – Conference Carolinas is proud to announce the Fall Scholar Athletes of the Year as recently voted on by the student-athlete affairs committee. This prestigious award is presented annually to a student-athlete in each sport for recognition of their outstanding academic and athletic achievements.
Each school submits candidates that are the best of the best for the conference from their sport while meeting certain qualifications for nomination. The qualifications include being a junior or senior student-athlete with a cumulative grade point average of 3.25 or higher on a 4.0 scale in all work completed at their member institution that have played in a conference sponsored sport. The GPA is calculated based on the student-athletes cumulative average through the previous semester and each student-athlete must have attended their member institution for at least one academic year. Additionally, in order to qualify for the award the student-athlete must be a current member of the All-Conference Carolinas First, Second, or Third Team that were recently selected by head coaches from conference member institutions that nominate and then vote upon award winners.
Women’s Cross Country
Mount Olive College’s Amber Thompson was named 2012 Conference Carolinas Women’s Cross Country Runner of the Year after winning the individual title at this year’s Conference Carolinas Women’s Cross Country Championship. Thompson, who became only the second women’s cross country runner in school history to earn women’s runner of the year honors, helped lead Mount Olive to a second-place team finish at the conference championship, tying for the best team finish in school history. A junior exercise science major from Radford, Va., Thompson earned a 2011-12 Division II Athletics Directors Association Academic Achievement Award for compiling a cumulative grade point average above 3.50.
Men’s Cross Country
King College’s Spencer Frantom helped the men’s cross country team make its first-ever NCAA Division II National Championship appearance with a strong second place finish at the Southeast Regional Championship meet on November 3. On that day, the Morristown, Tenn. native crossed the finish line in 31:50.6 on the 10k course in Charlotte, N.C. He led all Tornado runners that day and helped the team finish third overall, punching their ticket to nationals. On November 17, Frantom eclipsed his regional time by more than a full minute and just missed out on All-American honors. The junior placed 43rd overall at the national meet, hosted by Missouri Southern State University (Joplin, Mo.). He again led all Tornado runners while King placed 27th overall as a team in their first trip to the sports’ highest level of collegiate competition.
Lees-McRae College’s Mary Dorn led the Bobcats to their second consecutive Conference Carolinas regular season title this fall, earning the league’s first-ever Defensive Player of the Year honors in addition to a spot on the NSCAA all-Southeast Region First team. A native of Shallotte, N.C., Dorn enjoyed one of the best seasons of her storied tenure with the Bobcats this fall, directing the backline to four clean sheets in conference play while recording two goals and two assists. The senior defender has helped Lees-McRae record 27 shutouts in her career, including 12 clean sheets in 2010 to lead the Bobcats to the program's first-ever Conference Carolinas Tournament title and the school's first berth in the NCAA Tournament.
Coker College’s James Sweeney is a senior mathematics major from Huntington, Md. with a perfect 4.0 GPA. Sweeney was a first team All-Conference selection and was named the conference Defensive Player of the Year, leading Coker to a 12-4-1 record and its second consecutive Conference Carolinas regular season championship. He allowed just 13 goals, while posting seven shutouts and 54 saves. He led the conference with a 0.81 goals against average.
Belmont Abbey College’s Kay Schellenberg became the first Crusader women's volleyball player in school history to earn all-region recognition as she was named to the Honorable Mention team for the Southeast Region by the American Volleyball Coaches Association. Schellenberg, the 2012 Conference Carolinas Player of the Year and the Tournament Most Valuable Player, is the first player in school history to earn all-region acknowledgement and is the second player in school history to be named Player of the Year and the first since 2005.
The senior setter from Jacksonville, Florida leads the conference in assists per set and total assists, as well as service aces per set. She directs an offense that leads the conference in hitting percentage, a total that has been ranked as high as third nationally, as well as league highs in kills per set and points per set. She surpassed the 3,000 assist mark in the Conference Carolinas Tournament Quarterfinal win over King. Schellenberg led the Abbey to a 26-5 record, the first Conference Carolinas Tournament Championship and NCAA Tournament berth in school history.