CLEVELAND, OH – The Mid-American Conference announced today the Distinguished Scholar Athletes from the eight spring sports during the 2016-2017 academic season. Among the list of 186 athletes, were eight University at Buffalo student-athletes. This list was voted on by the faculty athletic representatives, and represents the "best of the best" from each sports' Academic All-MAC teams.
The UB men's track and field team led the way with four representatives on the Distinguished Scholar Athlete list led by Barrett Kemp who was honored for the second straight season. Kemp is a biological sciences major with a 3.891 cumulative GPA. John McCarthy was the lone Buffalo student-athlete to accumulate a 4.0 GPA and he did so with biological sciences as his major. Brian Crimmins earned the honor after compiling a 3.299 GPA in pharmacy while Brian Cummiskey notched a 3.271 GPA.
The women's track and field squad had two members earn the recognition as Christine Lyttle was honored for the third time, only three-time member in UB history. Lyttle accumulated a 3.925 GPA in communications. Selina Von Jackowski earned the recognition for the first time in her UB career as she notched a 3.632 GPA in nursing.
The women's tennis team had one representative make the squad as Chantal Martinez Blanco earned the nod for the first time in her UB career. Martinez Blanco is an Economics major with a 3.697 GPA. She was named second-team All-MAC for the second straight season as she enters the NCAA Tournament with a 20-11 record and a 9-6 mark at second singles, while also going 3-2 at first singles this year. Martinez Blanco was also extremely successful in doubles this year as she registered a 15-4 mark at second doubles with her partner Anna Savchenko. In all, Martinez Blanco is 19-7 overall in doubles action. Martinez Blanco was named the team's Most Improved Player.
The UB baseball team had one representative as Ben Haefner was placed on the team after an outstanding season on the field and in the classroom. The Lancaster, NY native is an exercise science major with a 3.633 cumulative GPA, finished off his junior campaign in impressive fashion as he earned First Team All-MAC honors. The shortstop turned in a career year at the plate for the Bulls as he started all 51 games and was able to collect a team-high and career-high 62 hits on the season. He finished off the season with career-highs in every major offensive category as he batted .326 with 38 runs, three home runs, 37 RBI, 81 total bases and 25 walks. He was able to record an on base percentage of .435 and a slugging percentage of .426 while batting third in the powerful UB lineup. In the field, Haefner produced 106 put outs and 140 assists while notching a .950 fielding percentage.
The Distinguished Scholar Athlete is a third-year award given to students who have excelled in athletics and academics. Following each season from the spring sports schedule, any student with a 3.20 GPA and participation in at least 50 percent of the contests was automatically named to the previously announced Academic All-MAC Team from each sport. Also, first-year students, junior college and graduate school transfers in their first year of residence were not eligible for the award.
From the Academic All-MAC Teams, the faculty athletic representatives selected the 'best of the best' of our Academic All-MAC Teams to be honored with Distinguished Scholar Athlete Award for the 2015-16 season. The number of Distinguished Scholar Athletes from each sport were equivalent to the number of first-team selections or 33% of nominees, whichever was greater.
UB's MAC Distinguished Scholar Athlete list:
Men's Outdoor Track & Field
Brian Crimmins, Buffalo, Senior, 3.299 GPA, Pharmacy (Big Flats, NY)
Brian Cummiskey, Buffalo, Senior, 3.271 GPA, Undeclared (Clarence, NY)
*Barrett Kemp, Buffalo, Senior, 3.891 GPA, Biological Sciences (Shinglehouse, PA)
John McCarthy, Buffalo, Junior, 4.00 GPA, Biological Sciences (Painted Post, NY)
Women's Outdoor Track & Field
*#Christine Lyttle, Buffalo, Senior, 3.925 GPA, Communication (Canandaigua, NY)
Selina Von Jackowski, Buffalo, Sophomore, 3.632 GPA, Nursing (Pfeffingen, Switzerland)
Chantal Martinez Blanco, Buffalo, Sophomore, 3.697 GPA, Economics (San Juan, Puerto Rico)
Ben Haefner, Buffalo, SS, Junior, 3.633 GPA, Exercise Science (Lancaster, NY)
* 2015-16 Distinguished Scholar Athlete
* 2014-15 Distinguished Scholar Athlete