In a spring season in which Winthrop sports have enjoyed great on-field successes, the Eagles’ success in the classroom earned plaudits from both the Big South and NCAA.
The conference announced Wednesday nine recipients of the George A. Christenberry Award for Academic Excellence. Senior cross-country athlete and former Clover High School star Emily Sparrow was among those honored by the league as one of the student-athletes with the highest grade-point average in their respective sports. Sparrow graduated from Winthrop in December, compiling a 4.0 GPA as an English major with double minors in mathematics and geography.
Sparrow also scored the President’s Award for Academic Excellence from the university during Commencement in December, joining her Winthrop Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year honor for 2017-'18 recognition and three times on the Big South Presidential Honor Roll.
Also this week, the Winthrop women’s golf team received honors from the NCAA for its 2016-17 academic year performance. The Public Recognition Award is an annual honor presented to schools in the top 10 percent of the Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores. The women’s golf team was among 28 Big South teams given such honors.
Brave heading to Tampa
Winthrop men’s long jumper Quemell Brave parlayed his indoor and outdoor Big South long jump titles into a postseason berth. Brave was announced Friday as one of 40 Big South athletes selected to the NCAA Preliminary Track & Field East Region meet, held this coming Thursday-Saturday at the USF Track & Field Stadium in Tampa. Should Brave finish among the top 12 of the 48 competitors in the long jump, he would then earn a berth in the 2018 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships, held June 6-9 in Eugene, Ore.
"Excited to have Quemell back at the NCAA meet," said Winthrop Track & Field head coach Ben Paxton in a release from the university. "Coach Bobbie Schreiner has him jumping much more consistent than last year. This is a big reason he won both indoor and outdoor championships this year at the Big South. We feel that if he can keep this up, he has a great chance to advance to the championships in Eugene."
Proctor and Kauffman at Wake Forest
Winthrop women’s tennis stars Lauren Proctor and Megan Kauffman will close their seasons this week at the Wake Forest Tennis Complex in Winston Salem, N.C. Proctor will compete in the singles competition, having secured the Big South’s automatic qualifying bid. Proctor also joined with Kauffman to earn the league’s automatic bid in doubles. Proctor is ranked 37th in singles play in the most recent Oracle/ITA Collegiate Tennis Division I singles rankings, issued May 3. Proctor and Kauffman are 23rd in the most recent Oracle/ITA doubles rankings.
The events will take place May 23-28. Brackets and schedules are to be determined.
Baseball in Big South tournament
The Winthrop baseball team (24-29, 15-12 Big South) finished its regular-season slate Saturday with visiting Liberty taking two-of-three games against the Eagles. Winthrop will now head north to Lynchburg, Va., to take part in what will be the final Big South Baseball Championship Liberty will host. Liberty announced Thursday its plan to depart the conference at the end of the academic year, to join the Atlantic Sun Conference.
Campbell (31-23, 21-6 Big South) secured the regular season crown by two games over second-seeded High Point, and will lead the eight-team bracket for the event, to be contested May 22-26 at Liberty Baseball Stadium.
Winthrop will take the field Tuesday for its first-round contest. The Eagles will be the fourth seed and will play in the final game of the day, in which the Eagles will do battle with either Gardner-Webb or Radford. That game is scheduled for 45 minutes after the completion of the day’s third game, between Campbell and the eighth seed, likely Longwood. The Eagles would then play again Wednesday evening.
The full tournament bracket and event schedule can be found on the Championships page of bigsouthsports.com.