Senior Maddy Garber of the Central Connecticut swimming and diving team and senior Austin Nehls of the CCSU men's basketball team were named Northeast Conference Scholar-Athletes for their respective sports it was announced Thursday by the league office. The conference also released the Winter Academic Honor Roll and Commissioner's Honor Roll presented by Certified Financial Services. A total of 37 Blue Devils student-athletes across five winter sports teams earned a place on the Northeast Conference Winter Academic Honor Roll. In addition, nine CCSU student-athletes earned a place on the NEC Commissioner's Honor Roll for the winter season.
Garber was named the NEC women's swimming and diving Scholar-Athlete for the second straight year, sharing the award with Bryant's Jillian Rice this season. She finished her career by being named Northeast Conference Most Outstanding Swimmer of the Meet in back-to-back seasons. She helped the Blue Devils win three NEC team championships during her career, while claiming seven individual championships. She was a four-time NEC champion in the 200 yard breaststroke and a three-time winner in the 100 yard breaststroke. Garber holds the conference and school-records in both events and swam the events at the 2017 NCAA Championships. Garber also had the opportunity to compete at the US Olympic Trials and the USA Swimming National Championships. She was also recognized for her work in the classroom, having earned CSCAA Scholar All-America recognition. Garber, a three-time selection to the NEC Academic Honor Roll, has posted a 3.49 grade point average as a Graphic/Information Design major.
Nehls, who is on track to graduate in just three years, became the 37th player in program history to score 1,000 career points. He led the team with 67 three-pointers this past season and ranked eighth in the NEC with 2.1 triples per game. A two-time CoSIDA Academic All-District 1 First Team honoree, he ranks sixth all-time at Central with 206 three-pointers, which is also among the top-50 career list in the NEC. He tallied 1,038 career points in 90 career games, including 89 starts, while averaging 35.2 minutes per game. Nehls is a four-time member of the NEC Commissioner's and Academic Honor Roll and has also been recognized on the NABC Honors Court during his career. The Finance major from Tucson, AZ posted a 4.0 grade point average this past fall and is a 3.94 student during his time at Central.
All scholar-athlete award winners must have earned a minimum of 60 semester hours at their institution, maintained a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.20 and participated with distinction as a member of a varsity team.
Along with the scholar-athletes, the NEC announced its Winter Academic Honor Roll, consisting of 600 student-athletes with a 3.20 or better grade point average, a 11.3 percent increase from 2016-17. There were also 186 student-athletes named to the Winter Commissioner's Honor Roll, recognizing those superior student-athletes with a 3.75 or better grade point average. The Commissioner's Honor Roll figure represents a whopping 32.9 percent increase from a year ago.
The CCSU men's indoor track and field program, which won its second NEC title in program history, had 10 members named to the winter Academic Honor Roll. The women's and diving team had a department-high 13 members earn Academic Honor Roll honors. The women's basketball and women's indoor track and field programs had six members apiece earn Academic Honor Roll honors, while the men's basketball program also had multiple student-athletes earn Academic Honor Roll recognition.
The nine CCSU student-athletes named to the Commissioner's Honor Roll are listed below:
Austin Nehls (Men's Basketball) - Sr., Finance, 3.94
David Kerns (Men's Indoor Track) - So., Biochemistry, 4.0
Ashley Forker (Women's Basketball) - Fr., Interdisciplinary Science, 3.83
McKenna Kilian (Women's Indoor Track) - Sr., Exercise Science, 3.84
Olivia Mondo (Women's Indoor Track) - Gr., Teacher Education, 3.87
Angelia Rafter (Women's Indoor Track) - Fr., English, 3.82
Morgan Ricci (Women's Indoor Track) - Sr., Biomolecular Sciences, 3.78
Kirsten Bednarz (Women's Swimming & Diving) - Jr., Mathematics, 3.87
Erin Brown (Women's Swimming & Diving) - Fr., Pre-Nursing, 3.76