Eugene, Ore. – Nebraska senior Anne Martin and junior John Welk were honored by the NCAA at the Outdoor Championships on Friday with the NCAA Elite 89 Award. Both Martin and Welk earned the award for being the female and male athletes competing at the outdoor championships with the highest GPA. The honors marked a complete sweep of the prestigious award for Nebraska among the entire NCAA Championship field. It also the second year in a row the duo has claimed the honor.
A combined eventer from Waverly, Neb., Martin has excelled in the classroom over her career. She is a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree and was honored as a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar in 2012 and 2013. Martin has a 4.00 GPA and is an elementary education major at NU. She wrapped up two days of competition in the heptathlon at the NCAA Championships on Friday with 5,465 points for 13th.
Welk, a sprinter from Bismarck, N.D., is also a standout in the classroom. He was named Academic All-Big Ten in 2013 and 2014 and is a five-time honoree on the Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll. He has a 3.99 GPA and is a nutrition science major at Nebraska. Welk is a member of the men’s 4x100-meter relay team that posted a time of 39.52 in the semifinals on Thursday.
The Elite 89, an award founded by the NCAA, recognizes the true essence of the student-athlete by honoring the individual who has reached the pinnacle of competition at the national championship level in his or her sport, while also achieving the highest academic standard among his or her peers. The Elite 89 is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA championships.
All GPAs are based on a straight grading scale to ensure consistency among institutions. All ties are broken by the number of credits completed.
Eligible student-athletes are sophomores or above who have participated in their sport for at least two years with their school. They must be an active member of the team, traveling and competing at the championship.