LOCK HAVEN -- Neely Spence named PSAC Scholar-Athlete of the year for the second straight time.
Spence is now a professional runner after turning pro following the 2011 cross country season. She is the fourth female in PSAC history to win back-to-back Scholar-Athlete of the Year awards, the fifth overall individual to do so and the first from Shippensburg. She concluded her Shippensburg career last fall by winning her second straight NCAA women's cross country championship, ending her career as an eight-time NCAA champion, including events won at indoor and outdoor track & field championships. She is the first athlete in PSAC history to be named an Athlete of the Year for four straight seasons in any sport.
The PSAC Pete Nevins Scholar-Athletes of the year award is presented to the top student-athletes who have achieved at least a 3.50 cumulative grade point average while competing at an oustanding athletic level. The student-athlete must also be recognized as a fall, winter or spring PSAC Top 10 award winner in the same academic year.
This 22-year-old award honors East Stroudsburg’s sports information director, Pete Nevins, who passed away in 2007. Nevins held his position at ESU for 33 years and it is estimated that he wrote articles on more than 12,000 ESU events that covered more than 5,000 student-athletes. The awards are given to one male and one female candidate at the end of each academic year who are nominated and voted on by the PSAC's sports information directors.
Joe Wendle is another recipient of this award and becomes the first-ever West Chester male student-athlete to earn the Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Wendle is the second West Chester student-athlete to claim the award and the first male. Wendle led the Golden Rams to both PSAC and NCAA Championships this year as he won the PSAC "triple crown" by leading the conference in hitting (.399), home runs (12) and RBI (59). He was named the PSAC East Player of the Year and helped lead the Golden Rams to the program's first NCAA baseball championship. Drafted by the Indians in the sixth round of last month's Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, he was the 203rd overall pick, becoming the highest drafted player out of the PSAC since 1999.