SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sacramento State senior Jessica Smith, juniors Michelle Evers, Kim Gross and Alexandra Santella, and sophomores Courtney Owen and Callie Senna were each recipients of the National Scholar-Athlete Award, it was announced by the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA).
The award recognizes rowing student-athletes with a 3.5 or higher cumulative grade point average, are at least a sophomore athletically, and have competed in 75 percent of the team's races.
The six honorees are tied for the most in school history, as last year's team also had six. In fact, four of today's honorees (Smith, Santella, Evers and Gross) also received the award last year. The four become the 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th Hornet rowers to receive the award multiple times during their career.
Smith, a native of Bakersfield, Calif., competed with the varsity eight in all 12 spring races this year, sitting at the five seat 10 times and six seat on two occasions. A team co-captain, first team all-WIRA selection and member of Conference USA's Honor Roll, Smith posted a time of 6:55.6 on the 2,000-meter ergometer test earlier this spring, the fastest mark in school history.
Santella, a native of Stockton, competed with the varsity eight in every spring race, sitting at three different seats with the team's top boat. That included five times at bow, five times in the seven seat and twice in the four seat. She has already received an assortment of academic accolades this year, including being selected as one of 15 student-athlete to the Conference USA All-Academic Rowing Team. She was also the recipient of the league's academic medal and a member of Conference USA's Commissioner's Honor Roll.
Gross, a native of San Diego, missed just one race during the spring, competing four times with the varsity eight and seven times with the second varsity eight. With the team's top boat, she sat in the four and seven seats, and with the JV8, she sat in the six seat and at stroke. Gross was selected to Conference USA's Commissioner's Honor Roll earlier this spring.
Evers, a native of Cave Creek, Ariz., competed in all one but one spring race with each of those appearances coming in the varsity eight. She sat at stroke seven times, and twice in both the four and seven seats. During her first three years with the program, Evers has competed with the varsity eight in all but two spring races. She was selected to Conference USA's Commissioner's Honor Roll earlier this spring.
Owen, a native of Murrieta, Calif., did not miss a race this spring, competing seven times with the varsity eight and five times with the second varsity eight. With the V8, she sat at two on five occasions, and once in both the three and five seats. In the second varsity eight, she rowed at stroke and six. Owen was selected to Conference USA's Commissioner's Honor Roll earlier this spring.
Senna, a native of Sacramento, sat at bow with the Hornets' varsity four in all 10 of the boat's spring races. That includes the varsity four's gold-medal winning performance at the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championship. Senna was selected to Conference USA's Commissioner's Honor Roll earlier this spring.