State Notes 06-28-12

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UNM has its best finish ever in  Learfield Cup competition

ALBUQUERQUE — The University of New Mexico finished 41st in the final standings of the Learfield Sports Director’s Cup, UNM’s highest-ever finish.  
The Lobos finished second among all non-BCS schools, with only Princeton finishing higher.
The Lobos finished with 516 points, which is the second-most points the school has ever amassed, behind the 522 points in 2009-10. Overall, it is the fifth time in school history that UNM has finished in the top 50 nationally.
The Learfield Sports Director’s Cup has been contested since the 1993-94 season. The award recognizes institutions achieving success in collegiate men’s and women’s sports.
Stanford University won the Cup for the 18th consecutive season. North Carolina is the only other school to win the Cup, doing so in the inaugural season in 1993-94.
“Our finish in the Learfield Sports Director’s Cup is a testament to the student-athletes and coaches at New Mexico,” said Vice President for Athletics Paul Krebs. “To earn our highest finish in the same year that we set a school record for student-athlete  GPA…speaks volumes about the types of student-athletes that we have at the University of New Mexico. Along with our student-athletes and athletic staff, this also reflects the tremendous support that we receive from across campus, from our fans, and from around the state.”
Overall, New Mexico earned points in 15 of 21 potential sports.
Following UNM, the top-finishing Mountain West school in the standing was TCU, which finished 52nd overall.

UNM’s Williamson is top MW female student-athlete

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Former New Mexico volleyball student-athlete Kelly Williamson was announced as the 2011-12 Mountain West Female Scholar-Athlete.
The award is the highest honor given by the Conference and is presented to a male and female student-athlete each year who best exemplify “student-athlete” by achieving excellence in academics, athletics and community involvement.
In addition to athletic achievement, recipients of the Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award must have a minimum 3.5 grade point average, demonstrate leadership, and exhibit good character and conduct on and off the playing field.
The Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award was established by the Mountain West Joint Council in 1999.
Williamson graduated summa cum laude this past May with a degree in conservation biology and a minor in sustainability studies. A four-year letterwinner for the Lobos’ volleyball program, she closed out her playing career with first-team all-Mountain West accolades in 2011.
The 6-2 outside hitter was an impact player for UNM, especially in her junior and senior seasons. Williamson finished 2010 third on the team in total kills (296), blocks (57) and points (335.5). In 2011, she was second on the team in total kills (404, 3.64/game) and points (435, 3.92/game), while recording 40 blocks on the season.
A 2010 Rhodes Scholar candidate and member of the University’s Honors Program, she maintained a 3.98 cumulative grade point average, leading to Academic all-MW and MW Scholar-Athlete accolades all four years.
Williamson, who was named a 2012 recipient of a NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, also took her studies abroad, spending two summers in China and Nepal working with various conservation efforts.
“This is a great honor for Kelly and is something she is very deserving of,” New Mexico head coach Jeff Nelson said. “She’s done it all an epitomizes what a student-athlete is and should be. This is a great tribute to her, her family and our program. We’re very happy for her.”