Six Old Dominion Student-Athletes Recognized as Academic All-State Honorees

June 20, 2006
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

June 20, 2006

NORFOLK, Va. -- Six Old Dominion student-athletes were among the 98 collegiate athletes throughout the state honored for their achievements both in athletic competition and in the classroom as the Virginia Sports Information Directors (VaSID) announced the 2005-06 Academic All-State Awards.

The VaSID All-State winners were nominated by their school and voted upon by sports information directors at all member institutions. The Academic All-State recognition is the only honor handed out by the organization that includes athletes from all NCAA institutions in Division I, II, and III as well as NAIA schools. In order to be eligible, the student-athlete must be a starter or key reserve who has reached sophomore eligibility status and has a 3.20 or better grade point average. The First, Second, and Third teams consist of the top 11 athletes, including ties.

Among the VaSID Academic All-State First Team Honorees are a pair of field hockey standouts in Janelle Engle (Mt. Joy, Pa.) and Mary Cate Gordon (Oreland, Pa.), who add to a long list of academic and athletic accomplishments for the 2005-06 year after attaining perfect 4.0 grade point averages. Engle was named CAA Player of the Year, and earned first team All-American honors by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association. She led ODU and the CAA in scoring with 20 goals. She was selected by the ODU Alumni Association as the Female Athlete of the Year, and the Norfolk Sports Club presented her with the Tom Scott award as the university's top senior athlete. In the classroom, Engle is a four-time National Field Hockey Coaches Association All-Academic selection and was chosen to the USA TODAY All-USA College Academic team. She was also the CAA's Scholar Athlete of the Year. She and Gordon were co-winners of the prestigious Jack Wilkins/aJames Howard Female Scholar Athletes of the Year at ODU with the highest cumulative averages. A music major, Engle was first violinist in the Deihn String Quartet and concertmaster of the ODU Symphony. Gordon posted seven shutouts along with a .702 save percentage and a 1.47 goal against average in leading ODU to the CAA crown and its 16th appearance in the NCAA semi-finals. Gordon is a four-time NFHCA All-Academic selection and graduated with a degree in English. She was a Rhodes Scholar nominee and will be attending law school in the fall. Both were selected to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America Women's At-Large Team by CoSIDA. Engle was selected to the first team and Gordon to the second team.

Three student-athletes from Old Dominion landed on the Academic All-State Third Team in women's soccer's Laura Beeman (Chalfont, Pa.), men's basketball's Alex Loughton (Perth, Australia), and men's swimming Brian Julich (Sanford, N.C.). Beeman, a CAA Fall Scholar Athlete, was a counseling major who has been a constant on the ODU Dean's List and was a three-time recipient of the CAA Commissioner's Academic Award. She was selected as the CAA women's soccer Player of the Year in 2005 after leading the conference and ranking among the top 20 nationally with 16 goals and 35 points. Beeman was chosen to the NSCAA All Mid-Atlantic second team and the Soccer Buzz All-Region squad, and earned All-CAA accolades for the third year in a row. She finished her career ranked second in career goals and points at ODU. Loughton was a three-time First Team I-AAA Scholar Athlete Team member by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics. He also earned third team Academic All-American honors by ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA. Loughton helped lead ODU to a 24-10 record as the team advanced to the semifinals of the National Invitation Tournament. The 6-9 Perth, Australian native completed his four-year career at ODU with 1,642 points, 952 rebounds, and 159 steals. Loughton ranks tenth all-time at ODU in points, sixth in rebounds and eighth in steals. Julich was selected to ESPN The Magazine's/CoSIDA Academic second team All-District men's at-large team. Graduating with a degree in biology/pre-med, Julich helped the Monarchs finish third at the CAA Swimming and Diving Championships. In late April he was the male recipient of the prestigious Jack Wilkins/James Howard Scholar Athlete of the Year award, which is presented to the male and female senior athletes with the highest cumulative grade point averages. He won two events in the season opener against Towson, winning the 50 free (21.89), and the 100 free (48.48) and also won the 100 butterfly (52.17) against Radford and VMI in addition to the 100 fly (52.25) in the CAA pod meet against Delaware and William and Mary. Julich placed first in the 500 free (21.74) against George Washington and swam on the second place 200 freestyle relay team (1:23.93) at the CAA Championships.

Earning Honorable Mention VaSID Academic All-State was junior women's basketball member Tish Lyons (Newport News, Va.). Lyons, a pre-med/biology major, was a starting member of the Lady Monarch team which brought home its 15th straight CAA title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the 23rd time in school history. She averaged 9.6 points and 4.3 rebounds for the team, which finished the year with a 22-9 mark.