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ODU'S Seleznev, JMU'S Cutchins Named CAA Scholar-Athletes of the Year

Courtesy: ODU Athletics
         
Release: June 16, 2009
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June 16, 2009

RICHMOND, Va. (June 15, 2009) - Old Dominion senior tennis player Aleksandr Seleznev (Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic) was selected as the Colonial Athletic Association Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year and James Madison junior field hockey player Kelsey Cutchins (Suffolk, Va.) was chosen as the CAA Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year for 2008-09 in voting by the league's 12 sports information directors.

The conference selected a Scholar-Athlete in each of its championship sports this season, and each of those winners was placed on the ballot for the Male and Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year award. All of the winners were a starter or important reserve on their team and had a cumulative grade point average of 3.25 or higher. Among the contenders for the award, three were ESPN the Magazine Academic All-Americans and three others were named to national All-Academic teams in their respective sports. Not only did the finalists excel in the classroom, but also as athletes, with 19 of the Scholar-Athletes earning All-CAA honors this season and three being honored as All-Americans.

Seleznev was the CAA Scholar-Athlete of the Year award winner in men's tennis. The senior, who double majored in decision science and finance, was the recipient of the Wilkins/Howard Male Scholar Athlete of the Year at Old Dominion in 2009. He is a Dean's List student and a four-time CAA Commissioner's Academic Award recipient. On the court, Seleznev earned CAA men's tennis Player of the Year honors after posting a 29-9 record at No. 1 singles this season and a 21-6 mark at No. 1 doubles with partner Tobias Fanselow. He finished the year ranked #85 in the nation in singles and #35 in doubles by the ITA. Seleznev, who earned spots in the NCAA singles and doubles championships this spring, finished his career with eight All-CAA honors, including a pair of first-team selections in singles and doubles.

Seleznev, who carries a 3.81 grade point average was also named to the second team ESPN The Magazine-CoSIDA Academic All-District 3 squad.

Cutchins earned CAA Scholar-Athlete of the Year award honors in field hockey for the second straight season. The junior, who is majoring in psychology with a minor in geographic science, was chosen to the ESPN the Magazine Academic All-America second team in 2009 after being selected to the Academic All-America third team in 2008. She is a four-time JMU President's List honoree and a three-time recipient of the CAA Commissioner's Academic Award. On the field, Cutchins was chosen as a first team All-American at goalkeeper for the second straight year and also received CAA Player of the Year honors for the second consecutive season. She led the nation in goals against average (0.72) and save percentage (.824) this season and helped lead JMU to its third straight CAA championship and a top 10 national ranking. She enters her senior campaign with the lowest career GAA (0.96) in school history.

Others receiving votes for the Male Scholar Athlete of the Year award were George Mason junior Steven Benecki (Fairfax, Va.), an all-conference honoree in swimming; George Mason junior Richard Edgar (Mechanicsville, Md.), a two-time All-CAA pick in men's soccer; UNC Wilmington junior Darion Jeralds (Winston-Salem, N.C.), the Dean Ehlers Leadership Award recipient in men's basketball; Villanova sophomore Brian Karalunas (Dewitt, N.Y.), the CAA Defensive Player of the Year in men's lacrosse; Hofstra junior Lou Ruggirello (Walden, N.Y.), a three-time CAA champion and NCAA qualifier in wrestling; Georgia State junior Tom Sherreard (Maidstone, England), a two-time all-conference selection in men's golf; William and Mary senior Cam Shriver (Oxford, Ohio), the CAA champion in the high jump in men's track and field; Georgia State junior Mark Steeds (Paris, Ontario), an All-America selection and the CAA Male Athlete of the Year in cross country; and Hofstra senior Mark Stuckless (Kanata, Ontario), a first-team All-CAA choice in baseball.

Others receiving votes for the Female Scholar Athlete of the Year award were William & Mary junior Emily Anderson (Golf, Ill.), the Most Outstanding Performer at the CAA women's cross country championship and a track and field All-American; George Mason senior Maggie Bridges (Fairfax, Va.), a three-time All-CAA first team honoree in women's lacrosse; Hofstra senior Lauren Engle (San Diego, Calif.), a two-time all-conference selection in volleyball; Drexel senior Kate Hynes (Brookville, Pa), a four-time CAA Diver of the Year, two-time honorable mention All-American honoree and third-team Academic All-American; William and Mary senior Abby Lauer (Oak Hill, Va.), the CAA Co-Defender of the Year in women's soccer and a third-team Academic All-American; Delaware senior Kelli McDonald (Phoenixville, Pa.), an All-CAA honoree in the pole vault in women's track and field; Georgia State senior Martina Nitkova (Vratimov, Czech Republic), a five-time All-CAA selection in women's tennis; Delaware senior Kim Ovittore (Bethel, Conn.), a first-team All-CAA pick at shortstop in softball, Drexel graduate student Andrea Peterson (Norwood, Pa.), the Dean Ehlers Leadership Award recipient in women's basketball and UNC Wilmington junior Ashley Tait (Islip, N.Y.), a two-time first-team All-CAA choice in women's golf.

CAA SCHOLAR-ATHLETE OF THE YEAR WINNERS

2002-03:
Male: Pedro Nieto, Tennis, VCU
Female: Kristine Austgulen, Basketball, VCU

2003-04:
Male: Adam Hess, Basketball, William and Mary
Female: Nataly Cahana, Tennis, Old Dominion

2004-05:
Male: Chris Looze, Baseball, George Mason
Female: Michelle Jarman, Golf, UNC Wilmington

2005-06:
Male: Michael Krayer, Swimming, UNC Wilmington
Female: Janelle Engle, Field Hockey, Old Dominion

2006-07:
Male: Keith Bechtol, Cross Country/Track & Field, William and Mary
Female: Melissa Milstead, Swimming, UNC Wilmington

2007-08:
Male: Ryan Overdevest, Soccer, William and Mary
Female: Sue Weber, Soccer, Hofstra

2008-09:
Male: Aleksandr Seleznev, Tennis, Old Dominion
Female: Kelsey Cutchins, Field Hockey, James Madison

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