MADISON, N.J. – Eight student-athletes have been chosen as Landmark Senior Scholar Athletes for their respective spring sports the conference office announced. A committee of Landmark Conference officers, athletics directors and sports information directors selected the recipients, choosing one senior from each of the spring sports sponsored by the conference. The honorees must have a cumulative GPA of 3.2 and are selected based on their accomplishments in all areas of college life including athletics, academics and other extracurricular activities. The award is the most exclusive awarded by the Conference with just 20 honorees for each academic year.
The 2010 Landmark spring sport Senior Scholar Athletes are: Baseball: Justin Champagne (Mt. Bethel, Pa./Bangor Area), The University of Scranton; Men's Lacrosse: Brad Mendelson (Owings Mill, Md./The Park School), Drew University; Women's Lacrosse: Elizabeth Law (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional), Drew University; Softball: Kelli Holota (Spring Lake, N.J./Livingston), Susquehanna University; Men's Tennis: Ian Box (Charlestown, Mass./The Rivers School), Moravian College; Women's Tennis: Jessi Haas (Montoursville, Pa./Montoursville Area), Susquehanna University; Men's Outdoor Track & Field: Matthew Bailey (East Petersburg, Pa./Hempfield), Juniata College; Women's Outdoor Track & Field: Rachel Riggs (Gettysburg, Pa./Gettysburg), Moravian College.
Champagne earned numerous honors on and off the field as a pitcher and outfielder for the Scranton baseball team. He was a two-time All-Conference pick in the Landmark during his career, as he finished his four years with a .362 career batting average and six home runs. He also had 11 victories and 125 strikeouts as a pitcher. Champagne was twice selected as an ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American, including a selection as a first-team performer as a senior. He earned a degree in economics and is a member of three honor societies. He was also awarded the Carlesimo Award from Scranton which is awarded to a male and female senior who demonstrated athletic and academic excellence.
Mendelson capped a strong career with the Drew lacrosse team by being picked as the team MVP in his senior year as a goalkeeper. He claimed first-team All-Conference honors as a senior when he ranked among the conference leaders in goals against average and saves per game. He helped lead the Rangers to the Landmark postseason in each of his three seasons, including a conference championship in his sophomore campaign. Off the field Mendelson graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in economics and was named a USILA Scholar All-American. He earned Landmark All-Academic recognition this spring and was a member of the economics and political science honor societies.
Law starred in a pair of sports for Drew but earns the honor for her efforts with the Rangers women's lacrosse team. She helped the squad earn back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances in her junior and senior year, and earned first-team All-Conference honors as a defender in her senior year. She was picked to play in the prestigious IWLCA/Under Armour North/South Senior All-Star Game at the conclusion of her career. Law also starred for Drew in field hockey where she was a three-time All-Conference pick and the 2008 Landmark Offensive Player of the Year. A psychology major with a minor in biology she has traveled to South America to animal behavior patterns and was a member of the Drew a cappella group.
Holota closed her career by helping the Susquehanna softball team to its best season in program history, including its first ever NCAA Tournament berth. The team's catcher and tri-captain she was a three-time All-Landmark Conference choice, including a first-team honoree in her final two seasons. She ranks at or near the top in a variety of Susquehanna career and single-season records including holding the career record for doubles, and is tied for second in career RBI and total bases. Holota ended her academic career in style as well, earning a 4.0 in her final semester as a major in biology and secondary education. She was Vice President of her sorority and was a member of the biology and education honor societies.
Box ranks as one of the most decorated men's tennis players in Moravian history as well as the brief history of the Landmark. He was the Landmark Player of the Year as a sophomore and was a first-team All-Conference choice as a singles player three times, as well as earning All-Conference recognition three seasons in doubles. He had a career singles record of 43-27 while helping Moravian to three-straight Landmark postseason appearances, including the programs first conference championship berth in 2009. A three-time Dean's List honoree as a biology major he was also a three-time selection to the Landmark Spring All-Academic Team. Box also was the Vice President of the Moravian club ice hockey team.
Haas ranked as one of the top doubles players in the Landmark during her three-year career, capped by a strong senior season in which she helped the Crusaders earn their first Landmark postseason appearance. A captain her senior year she ranked among the conference leaders in doubles wins at the third flight position with a record of 8-4, and was 10-4 overall. Her 26 career doubles wins are tied for fourth in Susquehanna history and she had nine Landmark doubles wins the past three seasons. Haas graduated with a degree in marketing and was a three-time Academic Honor Roll selection. She was an executive board member for the Susquehanna Marketing Club, and worked as a web designer for the Montoursville Presbyterian Church.
Bailey closed his collegiate career with a strong performance in his final outdoor track season. He won the 10,000 meters at the Landmark Outdoor Track & Field Championships, while also placing fourth in the 5,000. He set a new Landmark record in the 10,000 during the season, and holds the Juniata records in both the 10,000 and 5,000. He was a multiple-time All-Conference performer in cross country, indoor track and outdoor track during his career. Bailey earned Dean's List honors in seven of his eight college semesters, only missing the list when he was studying abroad. He graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in biochemistry with a minor in philosophy, and was a member of the biology and chemistry honor societies.
Riggs was a consistently strong performer for the Moravian track & field teams that won three Landmark outdoor and indoor Championships. She earned All-America honors in her senior season as part of Moravian's 4x100 relay team, which came after she earned first-team All-Conference honors in the same event. She won the triple jump at the 2009 Landmark Outdoor Championships, and for her career had eight individual top-5 finishes at the Landmark Championship meet. She is a six-time member of the Landmark Academic Honor Roll while earning her degree in elementary education and psychology. She earned Dean's List honors three times and was a member of the Moravian Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
In its third season, the Landmark sent 16 teams to NCAA Tournaments and had a total of 20 athletes qualify for NCAA Championships in cross country, swimming & diving, and indoor and outdoor track & field. In addition, three Landmark athletes were chosen as ESPN The Magazine Academic All-Americans, and 14 were picked for ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District honors during the past year.