William & Mary students proved this year that you can excel in competition and in the classroom – again.
Ryder Miconi (baseball), Alessandra Liu (golf), Christian Cargill (tennis), Regan Rome (track and field) and Brian Waterfield (track and field) were voted Colonial Athletic Association scholar athletes of the year for 2015-16, announced by the conference on June 24.
Since the award was established in 2002-03, William & Mary has won 67 times, more than any other school."The department is proud of our student-athletes for their commitment to excelling in both the competitive arena of athletics and in the classroom," Athletics Directior Terry Driscoll said. "We congratulate each of them and hold them in the highest regard for the manner in which they represent the university. To have five CAA Scholar-Athletes of the Year during the same year in which our teams won a program-best eight CAA championships further emphasizes the value Tribe Athletics places on balancing high-achieving academics with success at the highest levels of collegiate athletics.
"In addition, to have had an all-time high 134 Provost Award winners this year – student-athletes with GPAs of 3.5 or higher – shows that our department's commitment to academic excellence clearly extends far beyond these five exceptional individuals."
Ryder Miconi ‘17
In the classroom: Miconi is majoring in finance and environmental studies, and the double major was named to the CAA All-Academic team. Miconi has been a three-time Provost Award winner for carrying a 3.5 GPA, or better, and has been on the Dean's List every semester of his collegiate career.
In the field: For the first-time during his career, Miconi earned a spot on an all-conference (second) team. The junior became the Tribe's designated hitter, appearing in 59 games with 54 starts. He batted .314, with 15 doubles, one triple, two homers and 26 runs batted in. He was named to the Charlottesville NCAA all-region team after getting a hit in every game of the regional.
Alessandra Liu ‘16
In the classroom: A kinesiology major, Liu was voted into Phi Beta Kappa and was named a College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) third-team academic All-American. She was the only women's golfer in the country to earn a spot on the academic All-America team.
On the course: Liu was chosen CAA golfer of the year. She became W&M's first-ever NCAA qualifier and shot 5-over at the NCAA regional to tie for 29th overall, both the best marks of the seven CAA representatives in the national field. Liu set or tied eight school records last season, including best stroke average (72.14), wins (4), top-5 finishes (8) and top-10 finishes (9). She is one of just two women in school history named first-team All-CAA twice, and one of just three to win four tournaments in a season.
Christian Cargill ‘16
In the classroom: Cargill received the W&M Provost's Award in 2015-16, boasting a cumulative grade-point average of better than 3.5. Cargill was also selected as an ITA Scholar-Athlete last season. A business finance major, Cargill and Will Juggins ’15 are the only two Tribe men's tennis players to receive the CAA academic honor.
On the court: Cargill earned first team All-CAA in singles for the second straight campaign and was named second team in doubles. He scored 10 victories at No. 1, and 13 overall. Cargill also led the Tribe in doubles wins for the second year in a row, putting together a 20-8 mark.
Regan Rome ‘18
In the classroom: Rome, a mathematics major, has won Provost Awards in both of her years in school, and has been named to the All-Academic team by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
On the track: In the fall, Rome advanced to the NCAA Cross-Country Championships, where she placed 25th overall to earn her first All-American honor. That led to her claiming a share of the CAA athlete-of-the-year honors. During the winter, she set the school record at 3,000 meters with a 9:09.74 race, becoming the first W&M runner to qualify for the NCAA Championships in that event. Rome finished 12th to earn second-team All-America honors. She also set a lifetime-best in the 5,000 meters at 15:58.07, and was one of just seven women in the country to rank in the top 20 in both the 3,000 meters and 5,000 meters. It all culminated outdoors with Rome taking seventh at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the 5,000 meters, earning first-team All-American honors.
Brian Waterfield ’15, M.Acc. ‘16
In the classroom: Waterfield won the CAA track and field scholar-athlete-of-the-year award for the second consecutive year. He earned his bachelor's degree in finance in 2015 before completing a Master's of Accounting last spring. He was chosen to the CoSIDA Academic All-District team in May.
In the field: During the winter indoor season, Waterfield ranked 15th in the world in the 35-pound weight throw after raising his school record to 21.85 meters (71 feet 8.25 inches). That earned him a spot at the NCAA indoor championships, the first-ever for a Tribe thrower, where he finished 11th overall to earn second-team All-American honors. Outdoors, Waterfield again raised his own school record in the hammer throw, up to 67.36 meters (221 feet), and ranked 16th in the nation. He won the CAA title with a meet-record throw of 65.82 meters (215 feet 11 inches), and also won the IC4A title with his school-record throw.