Six EMU student-athletes have been named to the Academic All-State Team by the Virginia Sports Information Directors (VaSID). A total of 217 student-athletes representing 34 colleges and universities in the state were recognized.
Those honored from Eastern Mennonite University were:
Lorraine Armstrong (Greencastle, Pa./Greencastle-Antrim), Sr., Field Hockey, History, 3.84 GPA. A starter in the midfield all three of her seasons at Eastern Mennonite University, Armstrong was named All-ODAC two different times. She capped her career with a spot on the All-ODAC Second Team, collecting a career high six goals and five assists this past fall. She led the team in assists as a senior, and finished her career with 14 goals and nine assists.
Tyler Denlinger (Perkasie, Pa./ Dock Mennonite Academy), Sr., Men’s Cross Country/Track & Field, Biology (Pre-Med), 3.94 GPA. This is the third time Denlinger earned a VaSID Academic All-State selection. As a middle distance runner, he is a 12-time All-ODAC honoree who was also voted the ODAC/Virginia Farm Bureau Insurance Scholar-Athlete five times. Denlinger broke five EMU records in track (indoor 1000m and mile, outdoor 800m and 1500m, 4x400m relay). Since graduating this spring, Denlinger won the Doc Jopson Award as the ODAC’s top male scholar-athlete and also became just the second EMU male in history to be named to a CoSIDA Academic All-American Team.
Joe Hall (Gladys, Va./Rustburg), Sr., Baseball, Recreation Leadership and Sports Studies, 3.58 GPA. Hall earned his first Academic All-State honor as he wrapped up one of the best baseball careers in program history. A two-time ODAC batting champion, including a career best .447 clip this year, Hall was named All-State First Team as well as All-Region by both D3baseball.com and the American Baseball Coaches Association. Along with being the ODAC Scholar-Athlete and CoSIDA Academic All-District, he led the nation with 71 hits during the regular season and broke EMU’s season record with 25 stolen bases.
Becca Hardy (Port Republic, Va./Eastern Mennonite), Sr., Women’s Volleyball, Business Administration and Accounting (double major), 3.93 GPA. Hardy was a four-year starter at either outside or middle hitter, and joined Denlinger as the recipients of EMU’s President’s Award. She earned a CoSIDA Academic All-District spot as a senior and led the Royals with 2.50 kills/set, 220 kills, .335 attack percentage and 53 blocks.
Ryan Thomas (Telford, Pa./Dock Mennonite Academy), Sr., Men’s Soccer, Accounting and Economics (double major), 3.70 GPA. Thomas was a four-year starter in the backline for the men’s soccer team and was also voted to the CoSIDA Academic All-District Team. He helped his team post seven shutouts this fall. After picking up his first collegiate point with an assist earlier in the season, Thomas scored his first goal in the Royals’ home finale against Shenandoah.
Hannah Walker (Chesapeake, Va./Grassfield), Jr., Women’s Soccer, Biology and Environmental Sustainability (double major), 3.89 GPA. Walker was EMU’s lone junior on the Academic All-State Team. A starter from her first game with the women’s soccer team, Walker made the move up from a defender to a spot in the midfield during this past season. She finished with two goals and an assist, including setting up the only goal in a key late-season win over Guilford.
To earn VaSID Academic All-State honors, a student-athlete must have achieved at least a 3.25 grade point average and be at least a sophomore. Each school in the state is allowed six nominees.
VaSID is comprised of sports information or athletics communications professionals from intercollegiate institutions throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. Membership is open to any individual affiliated with one of the state’s institutions at the NCAA Division I, Division II, Division III, NAIA, USCAA and community college levels, provided that individual’s area of responsibility lies within the realm of sports information.