OGDEN, Utah – Senior swimmer Kristin Jones and senior thrower Pascal Tang have been named as NAU's 2012 Big Sky Scholar Athlete Award winners. The pair represent NAU as the top student-athletes from the institution, as each Big Sky school has one male and one female recognized as the conference's top scholar athletes based on athletic and academic performance.
To qualify for the award, a student-athlete must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.2 (on a 4.0 scale), be a member of the graduating class and/or have completed their last year of intercollegiate athletic eligibility, have completed at least two years of intercollegiate competition at the institution, and be a letter winner.
Both Jones and Tang were commissioned bachelor's degrees in May as part of NAU's spring graduating class, and the pair were the only student-athletes recognized as Big Sky Scholar Athlete Award winners to complete their degrees with multiple majors. In April, Tang was selected as NAU's Golden Eagle Male Senior Scholar-Athlete of the Year while Jones was named the Golden Eagle Co-Female Senior Scholar-Athlete of the Year, sharing the award with senior distance runner Kortnee Burton.
A native of Juneau, Alaska, Jones graduated cum laude in May with a double major in psychology and sociology with a 3.73 grade point average. She was selected as the Lumberjack Pride Service Award winner in April and was a three-time Academic All-WAC selection and four-time Golden Eagle Scholar-Athlete award recipient.
Jones competed in three events and one time trial at the 2012 WAC Championship, advancing to the final in both the 500 freestyle and 400 individual medley. She placed seventh in the 500 free in 4:58.95, seventh in the 400 IM in 4:29.49 and ninth in the 1650 free in a career-best 17:16.17. She finished her career with four All-WAC second team honors and is NAU's 2012 nominee for NCAA Woman of the Year.
The only international Big Sky Scholar Athlete Award winner, Tang, from Leverkusen, Germany, graduated cum laude in May with degrees in marketing, finance, and management with a 3.64 GPA. He has earned Big Sky All-Academic honors three times and was named to the 2011 Division I All-Academic Track and Field Team by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
Tang was the 2012 Big Sky indoor champion in the weight throw and outdoor champion in the hammer throw, adding his third and fourth career conference wins. He has garnered All-Big Sky honors seven times, including his four individual titles, and will close his Lumberjack career at the NCAA Track and Field Championships competing for the second-consecutive year in the hammer throw at 12:00 p.m. Friday.