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200 Utah State Student-Athletes Recognized at Whitesides Luncheon

Thursday, Apr. 24, 2014

USU 2014 Whitesides award winner Katherine Vande Pol

The 2014 Whitesides Winner is senior track & field athlete Katherine Vande Pol who graduates this spring with a bachelor's degree in animal, dairy and veterinary sciences. She carries a 4.00 cumulative grade point average.

Utah State University's athletics department recognized 200 student-athletes for achieving a 3.2 grade point average at the 21st annual Joe E. and Elma Whitesides Scholar-Athlete Luncheon April 22. To be eligible for the honor, student-athletes must have a cumulative 3.2 grade point average or have posted a 3.2 GPA during the last two semesters.

In all, approximately 53 percent of USU’s student-athletes earned a 3.2 GPA to qualify for the awards.

The top honoree during the luncheon was senior track athlete Katherine Vande Pol. Fourteen of the past 24 recipients of the top individual honor have been from track and field, while 20 of the past 23 honorees have been women. During that time, the only males to win the award have been Mike Puzey from men's basketball in 2003, Tyler Ellis from men's track who shared the award with Rebecca Anderson and Alison Taylor in 2009, and Daniel Howell from men's track who shared the award with Katelyn Heiner in 2012.

Vande Pol will graduate from Utah State this spring with a bachelor’s degree in animal, dairy and veterinary sciences and carries a 4.00 cumulative grade point average. Following graduation, she plans to pursue both her master’s degree and her doctorate in animal sciences. Overall, Vande Pol is a two-time Whitesides Scholar Athlete recipient and earned academic all-conference honors during her first year at USU in 2013.

As a student-athlete, Vande Pol has been a member of Utah State’s indoor and outdoor track and field teams, along with cross country during her two years at USU.

Utah State also handed out team honors at the luncheon. Women’s tennis was named the top academic team with fewer than 20 members. Women’s track and field was the top academic team with more than 20 members, and men’s cross country was the most improved academic team.

D.J. Tialavea, who was a member of the football team, received the Aggie Achievement Award for overcoming life challenges and personal adversity to ultimately excel as a student-athlete and obtain a high level of academic achievement at Utah State University.

Sarah Wallace, a senior staff assistant in the College of Engineering, was presented the Meet The Challenge Award, while Jeremiah Bearss and Victoria Tonnemacher were both given the Outstanding Tutor Award, and Jaycie Miller was given the Outstanding Mentor Award for their work with USU’s student-athletes.

The Whitesides honors started in 1953 by former USU athlete, coach and athletics director Joe E. Whitesides.


Whitesides WinnerKatherine Vande Pol

Aggie Achievement AwardD.J. Tialavea

Meet The Challenge — Sarah Wallace

Outstanding Tutors — Jeremiah Bearss and Victoria Tonnemacher

Outstanding Mentor — Jaycie Miller

Top Teams (20-plus members)

1. Women’s Track

2. Soccer

3. Men’s Track

Top Teams (less than 20 members)

1. Women’s Tennis

2. Women’s Cross Country

3. Men's Golf

Most Improved Teams

1. Men’s Cross Country

2. Women’s Cross Country

3. Men’s Track

(To see the full list of 2014 Utah State Whitesides honorees, see the Athletic website)

Contact: Doug Hoffman, associate athletics director for media relations, (435) 797-3714

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