CORTLAND, N.Y.- The State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) is proud to announce the winners of its inaugural Scholar Athlete of the Year. Each season the conference will recognize student-athletes not only for their effort on the field, but also for their effort in the classroom. Out of the hundreds of fall student-athletes that compete in the SUNYAC, eight were chosen for this special distinction.
To be eligible for the SUNYAC Scholar Athlete of the Year award students must prove both academic and athletic excellence by obtaining a 3.30 overall GPA, by being a starter or significant reserve for their team and they must be at least a sophomore.
David Busby (Sr.), Cross Country, Oneonta
Busby (New Paltz/New Paltz) proved to be well-rounded during his college career. The Senior finished his undergraduate work in environmental science with a 3.96 GPA and received Scholar Athlete honors from the USTFCCCA twice during his career. He was also named a CoSIDA Academic All-American in 2016. On the cross country course, Busby was a consistently strong competitor for the Red Dragons. In his senior season, he posted a personal record at the Division III Regional Cross Country Championships. David's prowess helped lead Oneonta to their first NCAA National Championship competition in school history.
Rachael Shine (Sr.), Cross Country, Oneonta
For the duration of her four years at Oneonta, Shine (Clifton Park/Shenendehowa) excelled academically. The psychology major maintained a 3.69 GPA and was a member of the prestigious Chi Alpha Sigma National Student Athlete and Psi Chi Honor Societies. Athletically, Shine was a consistent runner for the Red Dragons. In her final season, she posted a school record 6K race time (21:09.8). Her strong senior campaign culminated in a twenty-third place finish at the NCAA National Cross Country Championships. Her other accolades include USTFCCCA Scholar Athlete (twice), SUNYAC first team All-Conference, and USTFCCCA All-Region.
Kayla McKeveny (Sr.), Field Hockey, New Paltz
During her time as a Hawk, McKeveny (Holbrook/Sachem East) was a well-balanced student-athlete. As an early childhood education major, she accumulated a 3.50 GPA. As a forward for the field hockey team, McKeveny is New Paltz's all-time leading scorer, amassing 42 goals and 104 points throughout her career. In her final season, she led the team with 12 goals and 28 points. This effort was rewarded with a place on the NFHCA All-North Atlantic Region second team and the first team All-SUNYAC.
Brad Campion (Sr.), Men's Soccer, Geneseo
Campion (Delmar/Bethlehem Central) was an incredibly accomplished student during his time at Geneseo. As a dual major in history and adolescent education, along with a minor in political science, Brad was able to maintain a 3.75 GPA. He was named to the Dean's List three times and was twice named to the SUNYAC Commissioner's List and All-Academic Team. Outside of the classroom, Campion is continuously involved in the History Club at Geneseo, the Kappa Delta Pi Education Honor Society, and the Elementary and Secondary Education Association. He was also named to the Undergraduate Student Association Elections Committee and was president of Geneseo's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. On the soccer field, Campion was a tenacious defender for the Knights for three seasons. He started fifty-three games during his career and tallied five goals.
Jenna Smolinski (Sr.), Women's Soccer, Buffalo St.
Throughout her academic career at Buffalo St., Smolinski (Hamburg/Hamburg) established an outstanding 3.96 GPA as a health & wellness major. Additionally, she was a member of Chi Alpha Sigma Student-Athlete Honors Society. During her senior season, the Bengals captured their first-ever SUNYAC women's soccer championship. Smolinski was an important midfield presence for her team, starting nineteen of twenty games. Her skills were recognized with placement on the All-SUNYAC second team and SUNYAC Championship All-Tournament team.
Emma Geyer (Jr.), Women's Soccer, Oswego
Geyer (Liverpool/Liverpool) has consistently been a strong student-athlete. Her 3.81 cumulative GPA helped her land on the President's list four times and the Dean's list once. She has repeatedly received several academic-based scholarships, including the Father Robert E. Hall memorial scholarship. She has twice been named to the SUNYAC All-Academic team. On the soccer field, Geyer has been a consistent midfielder for the Lakers. She has appeared in 52 games in her first three years, tallying thirteen goals and seven assists. Geyer is also involved in the Athletic Department Leadership Committee, and her athletic and academic prowess earned her an invite to Costa Rica for the beyond soccer tour in Spring 2017.
Carol Tyson (Jr.), Women's Tennis, New Paltz
Throughout her academic career at New Paltz, Tyson (Clinton Corners/Rhinebeck) has excelled. She compiled a 3.70 GPA as a finance major and has been named to the SUNYAC Commissioner's List and All-Academic Team. During her junior season on the tennis court, Tyson went 6-1 at No. 3 singles and 5-4 at No. 1 doubles. This effort landed her on the SUNYAC first team in doubles play and second team for singles.
Noelle Poloncarz (Jr.), Women's Volleyball, Brockport
Poloncarz, in her first three years at Brockport, has established an outstanding 3.61 GPA. She was placed on the CoSIDA Academic All-District team and won the 2016 SUNY Chancellors' Academic Award. On the volleyball court, she lead the SUNYAC with 1,250 assists and 10.59 digs per set. Her effort helped the Golden Eagles win their seventh SUNYAC championship followed by an appearance in the NCAA tournament. This season, Noelle was named to the ECAC first team, AVCA Northeast All-Region team, AVCA All-America team, and SUNYAC first team.