14 Panthers named to MVC Scholar-Athlete team


CEDAR FALLS, IA- The Missouri Valley Conference named 14 athletes from the Northern Iowa swim and dive team to the scholar-athlete team at the end of the 2021-22 conference season.

Scholar-Athlete honors require athletes to have completed at least one year and maintain a 3.3 GPA and earn honors from all conferences, achieve a 3.5 GPA, and finish in the top 16 first in an individual event at conference championships, or maintain a 3.8 GPA and compete in the MVC Championship (including non-scorers).

Northern Iowa varsity athletes included seniors Rachelle Houlette and Courtney Schaeffer. Schaeffer has competed in the 50 and 100 freestyle as well as the 100 backstroke and specializes in movement science and exercise. Houlette specializes in public health and education with a focus on wellness and fitness. She recorded MVC Championship season bests in the 200 Fly and 200 Free and a new personal best of 5:04.73 in the 500 Free race.

UNI has seven juniors named to the Scholar-Athlete team. 3 meter diving champion, Taylor Hogan, was named and also placed third in the 1 meter boards. Hogan is a major in science and communication disorders with a minor in biology. Joining Hogan is Kasidy Lovig, specializing in anthropology and public health, who ran in the 200 free, 500 free and 1650 free. Major in Primary Education, Rachel Studerrepresented UNI in the 400 IM and recorded a season best 4:46.41. Casey Summers, recorded a personal best in the 50 freestyle (24.28) and a season best in the 100 freestyle and 100 butterfly to end his season. Summers is majoring in movement and exercise science and has a minor in psychology. At last, Payton Hall, a biology major, was named to the Scholar-Athlete team after competing in three final races, the 100 backstroke, 200 backstroke and 200 IM. Hall placed ninth in the 100 backstroke with a new personal best 56.26.

Rounding out the Panthers named to the Scholar-Athlete team are seven sophomores. Lily Ernst placed fifth in the 200 m Fly with a new school best of 2:02.97 and seventh in the 400 IM. Ernst is majoring in social work with a minor in mental health and holds a 4.0 GPA. Amber Finkea major in biology with pre-professional physical therapy, also holds a 4.0 GPA and was named to the Scholar-Athlete team after placing third in the 100 and 200 backstroke as well as seventh in the 200 IM. Taylor shorts, a double major in psychology and criminology earned a spot on the scholar-athlete team after competing in the 50, 100 and 200 freestyle races. Major in Sociology, Scout Bergwallplaced 14th in the 100 backstroke final and also competed in the 200 backstroke and 100 butterfly. Claire Christensen recorded personal bests in each of her races, the 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle and placed 15th in the 50 freestyle in 23.95. Christensen is majoring in exercise science with a pre-professional in physical therapy. Mia Savicevic, a public health major, joins the Scholar-Athlete team after competing in the 100 and 200 Breastrokes and the 200 IM. Finalize sophomores is major in early childhood education, Natalia Verastegui who competed in the 100 freestyle and placed 13th in the 200 freestyle.

The Missouri Valley Conference also recognized Finke as a winner of the Elite 17 award. The Elite 17 award is given to a student-athlete with the highest GPA competing at their respective sport’s final venue.


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