Six Students Named to VaSID Academic All-State Team

Posted: June 19, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

The Virginia Sports Information Directors (VaSID) recently honored six Mason student-athletes for their performance in the classroom and in competition by naming them to the 2007 VaSID Academic All-State Team, which includes 194 students.

The Patriots named to the team were Chantal Bodkin-Clarke, a middle blocker on the women’s volleyball team; Sarah Fack, a midfielder/forward on the women’s soccer team; Dan Hurley, a member of the men’s golf team; Mutsa Nyakabau, a sprinter on the men’s track and field team; Graham Sheppard, a libero on the men’s volleyball team; and Melissa Venturi, an attacker on the women’s lacrosse team.

Four of the six Mason honorees completed their undergraduate work this spring. Among the four graduating seniors, Bodkin-Clarke majored in biology, Hurley majored in business management, Sheppard majored in information technology and Venturi majored in exercise science. Fack, a rising senior, is an accounting major, and Nyakabau, a rising junior, is studying premed.

While each student-athlete excelled in the classroom, the honorees were also standouts on the playing field. Bodkin-Clarke led the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) in blocks per game with an average of 1.43 this past season.

Fack led the Patriots in game-winning goals, and Hurley finished the season with the second-best stroke average on the team (76.8). Nyakabau qualified for the IC4A Outdoor Championships in both the 400-meter dash and the 4×400-meter relay, and Sheppard wrapped up his career as the Patriots’ all-time leader in digs during the rally-scoring era. Venturi ranks among the top 10 in school history in goals, assists, points and draw controls.

The 194 athletes represent the largest group the organization has honored with the awards. Each Virginia institution, including NCAA Division I, II, and III, NAIA, and independents, had the opportunity to submit athletes to be honored.

To be eligible, student-athletes were required to have a cumulative GPA of 3.20 or better. The student must have achieved sophomore status, and he or she could not have been in the first season of competition at their current school. All athletes are either starters or key reserves for their team.

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