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Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
Student-Athletes of the Spring 2013 Semester
Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
Release: 06/19/2013
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TEMPE, Ariz. - The Sun Devil Athletics Office of Student-Athlete Development has announced the student-athletes of the Spring 2013 semester at Arizona State. Those sports with a representative on the list include football, gymnastics, men’s basketball, men’s diving, men’s track and field, soccer, women’s basketball, women’s swimming, women’s track and field and wrestling.

WINNERS:

Elisha “Lili” Davis (Women’s Basketball)

Elisha “Lili” Davis, a member of the Women’s Basketball team, exemplified The Sun Devil Athletics Way this Spring 2013 semester.  Finding a way to win in every area, Lili competed with passion and character on the court and in the classroom, she was relentless in her efforts, and she made time to serve the community multiple times.  As a first-year student-athlete, Lili set for herself high academic goals, challenging herself beyond expectation, determined to excel, and succeeded. “What motivates me to have such an outstanding commitment to being relentless in the classroom is the area I grew up in. I witness first-hand what happens when you don’t have an education – it limits you and keeps you stuck, which doesn’t allow you to grow financially or as a person. I don’t want to be that person. What motivates me to compete with passion and character is the life I’ve been able to experience on and off the court due to basketball.  Even though it has been long and tough, it’s also been exciting, interesting and worth all the blood, sweat, and tears.”

What advice would you share with the Sun Devil family to inspire others to commit to upholding relentlessness and competing with passion and character in their own lives?

“Always do the best you can do. Don’t ever give up, no matter how big the challenge is because if it’s easy then it’s not worth having. Also, don’t be afraid to stand for what you believe even if you’re the only one standing.”

Shelby Houlihan (Women’s Track & Field)

Shelby Houlihan, a member of the Women’s Track and Field team, has set herself apart on the track and in the classroom this Spring 2013 semester.  A relentless pursuit of excellence, competing with passion and character, and leading by example, Shelby has epitomized The Sun Devil Athletics Way.  She won the Pac-12 conference 1500m run and came in second in the 5000m run.  She advanced for the second time this spring to the NCAA Championships, having qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championships in February, she has qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Championships in June.  Her competitive spirit does not stop on the track, though.  She is equally as competitive in the classroom pursuing a Computer Science degree and was named to the MPSF Indoor Track and Field All-Academic team in April. Shelby’s motivation is “the desire to be successful in everything that I do. Whether it is running or in the classroom, I always do my best and I simply refuse to fail.”

What advice would you share with the Sun Devil family to inspire others to commit to upholding excellence in their own lives?

“I encourage others to work hard and believe in themselves. Very few people achieve dreams that they don’t believe in.”

HONORABLE MENTION:

Elizabeth Schultz (Soccer)

As a transfer student from Western Illinois she had a rough first semester due to injury among other things. Her grades weren’t the best which forced her to sit out in the spring during off-season training. It was tough for Liz to watch her teammates and not be out there with them. Elizabeth vowed to herself and her coaches to make a drastic change this spring. During this time period she did a complete 180 and became extremely accountable for all of her work. Our academic staff would see her in the computer lab on average of 10-12 hours a week and it was really evident how badly she wanted to improve. She finished the semester with a 3.35 GPA which brought her CUM GPA to a 3.00 all while taking 17 credit hours. Liz would say the ability to play a sport that she loves is inventive enough to do well in the classroom, and if there was one word to describe her tremendous semester it would be her choice to compete with passion and character. “School was never my cup of tea, but once I realized what a blessing it is to be labeled as a student-athlete I turned over a new leaf. I prioritize school, because getting an education is important to me.”

What advice would you share with the Sun Devil family to inspire others to commit to upholding relentlessness in their own lives?

“I believe if you truly want something, you have to commit to it every day, regardless of the obstacles that stand in your way. Never give up, even for a minute, because once you learn how to quit, it becomes a habit.”

Caroline Kuczynski (Women’s Swimming)

A senior from Coral Springs, Florida,>Caroline Kuczynski just finished an amazing swimming career here at Arizona State.  Caroline won multiple All-American honors in the pool, but it was her turn around in the classroom that was most impressive.  Caroline struggled in the classroom her first two years at ASU, but in her Junior year, she finally decided to make a concentrated effort to do better in the classroom.  Caroline started logging more study time on the second floor in study hall and it paid off.  In the Fall of 2011, she completed her highest GPA for the semester and she never looked back.  Over the next three semesters she finished with a semester GPA of 3.60, which ultimately raised her cumulative GPA to a 3.00.  This remarkable achievement allowed Caroline to earn her Scholar-Athlete stole and she wore it proudly at graduation. As Caroline described, “being a senior, my motivating factor was achieving my goal of a cumulative gpa of 3.0. Coming from a rough start in my freshman and sophomore year, I had to make up for it in my last few semesters. With hard work and help from my great academic advisor, Natalie, I was able to achieve a 3.00 gpa as my final mark.”

What advice would you share with the Sun Devil family to inspire others to commit to upholding relentlessness in their own lives?

“The advice I would give to other sun devils is to never give up. Even if you have a rough patch, that doesn’t mean you can’t achieve your dreams! That has led me to achieve things both in the class room and in the swimming pool.”

Allie Salas (Gymnastics)

Missouri native>Allie Salas (Bioscience Major) competed on vault and floor for the Sun Devils after fighting to walk on to the team at the beginning of the season.  Salas has been practicing gymnastics for about 16 years.  Allie’s gymnastics career highlights include winning 2012 All-Around Title at the Missouri State Championships, winning the Vault Title at the 2011 Missouri State Championships and competing at JO Nationals two-straight years.  As a Sun Devil Allie scored 9.850 twice this season on floor, a career high and scored a career-high 9.750 on vault at Arizona.  Allie’s academic career is just as notable.  A National Honors Society member, graduating in the top-15 percent of her High School class, Allie has continued her commitment to academic excellence by being a Scholar Athlete both Fall 2012 and Spring 2013 semesters. Allie finds motivation through her family, “they always work hard at what they do and are successful. My family inspires me to be successful in my life.”

What advice would you share with the Sun Devil family to inspire others to commit to upholding Passion and Character in their own lives? 

“The advice I give to the Sun Devil family is to never hold back and always put forth all of your energy to get what you want out of life.”

MALE STUDENT-ATHLETES

WINNERS:

Deantre Lewis (Football)

After a good freshman year on the football field, adversity hit Deantre when he was the victim of random gunfire while visiting his family. It was difficult for him to overcome the challenge of walking again, let alone the running and agility work demanded by football. Two years after being shot Deantre feels blessed to again be able to follow his dream. Deantre has also made great strides in the classroom – he is excited about his major (Criminal Justice) and spring 2013 was his best semester academically! He has grown into a student who is an accountable, self-motivated and eager learner. He has set even higher GPA goals for himself for his summer and fall classes. Deantre has found motivation to excel despite the setbacks through “my teammates and being the first person in my family to go to college.”

What advice would you share with the Sun Devil family to inspire others to commit to upholding academic success in their own lives?

“Always strive to be the best and don’t give in to stress. Academic success is a great reward after going through challenging times.”

Calaen Robinson (Men’s Basketball)

Calaen Robinson is a freshman on the Men’s Basketball team.  He had an outstanding Spring 2013 semester after overcoming some personal obstacles in the Fall 2012.  He was enrolled in 18 credit hours and earned a 3.11 semester GPA.  Calaen put in over 20 study hall hours each week and worked extremely hard to achieve his goal of being a Scholar Baller (3.00 gpa or higher) this year. Calaen found motivation by “setting a goal for the spring semester to be a scholar baller and worked really hard to accomplish it.  I also wanted to be a role model and being a scholar baller and taking academics seriously is important for that.  Academics is a huge part of being a Sun Devil student-athlete so I had to take care of things in the classroom”

 What advice would you share with the Sun Devil family to inspire others to commit to upholding living the Sun Devil Way in their own lives?

“Always give it your best and never let up, regardless of your situation or what you may have to go through in life.  Be relentless in trying to be the best Sun Devil you can be.”

HONORABLE MENTION:

Joshua Morin (Wrestling)

Josh is a freshman on the men’s wrestling team. This spring semester Josh had to endure some complicated health challenges that required him to undergo surgery four times in the course of 3 months. Despite the obstacles, Josh remained committed to his academic success and completed the semester with a 3.06 term GPA, while maintaining a 3.44 cumulative GPA. Through it all Josh consistently maintained a positive attitude and displayed a lot of strength. As Josh describes, “my motivation comes from within. I understand my why for whatever I am doing. By knowing exactly the purpose and reason why I am doing something keeps me committed. The person I have to answer to at the end of each day is me. I treat all aspects of life with the same mentality by doing everything I can, when I can, to better myself. Failures throughout my life are used as constant reminders of how it felt like to have an undesired result. I use failures to drive me and keep me motivated. I believe life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. Having a long term vision is also something that has helped me in my pursuits by understanding that everything I do will ultimately lead to successes in my future. “

What advice would you share with the Sun Devil family to inspire others to commit to upholding excellence in their own lives?

“The biggest advice I can give is that by settling for mediocrity will only lead to a mediocre lifestyle. Surround yourself with people that have the same goals and dreams as you do. Hold yourself to excellence.Do something each day to improve yourself as a person. If you are not doing something to better yourself just know that someone else out there with the same goals and dreams is doing something to better themselves and is making their dreams a reality.”

Rashad Ross (Football)

Rashad Ross continued to show what it means to live the Sun Devil Way after finishing his last season of football in the fall. While training to get ready for his first professional season of football in the spring, Rashad displayed the same RELENTLESS determination in the classroom. After arriving to ASU from junior college, Rashad spent most of his time in the computer lab working with tutors for his classes. But this past spring, Rashad was determined to complete his work on his own and had one of his best semesters. He finished with a 3.08 GPA and also signed a contract with the Tennessee Titans. While many students falter in school when a promising professional career is on the horizon, Rashad displayed the RELENTLESS fortitude to WIN in the classroom.

Harrison Jones (Men’s Diving)

Harrison came to ASU to compete his final season as a Sun Devil after diving three years for USC.  Harrison had an amazing year in the pool as a Sun Devil and had an undefeated dual meet season before heading to the PAC-12 and NCAA Championship meet.  Harrison earned two All-American awards at the NCAA Championships.  In the classroom, Harrison excelled.  He finished the Fall semester with a 4.13 GPA and finished Spring semester with a 3.86 GPA, despite missing three weeks of school for competition.  Harrison was able to maintain a 4.00 cumulative GPA for the academic year. 

Nick Happe (Men’s Track & Field)

Staying consistently at a 4.0 during his time at ASU it has been hard not to nominate him for Student-Athlete of the semester for each of the eight semesters that he has been here. This semester he sat at a 4.13 GPA and had a remarkable year on the track as well, winning the men’s 5,000-meter with a final lap of 57 seconds and overtaking UCLA’s Lane Werley to win his first-ever conference title. Nick exemplifies the value of being relentless on a daily basis. It is evident on the track especially with his persistence in pursuing his first conference title, but also in the classroom as he is now moving on to pursue his law degree beginning this fall.

 

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