15 Gauchos Chosen to Big West All-Academic Squads

June 26, 2009

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Fifteen UC Santa Barbara student-athletes were selected to the spring season Big West All-Academic Team, the conference announced on Friday.

Leading the group of Gauchos were four women's track and field members - sophomore Zaina Akeh, junior Jennifer Brown, sophomore Sheneice Vargas and junior Katie Voigtlander.

The men's track and field team and the women's water polo team each had three members. Juniors Katheryn Byrne, Kristin Kulakowski and Kathryn Nelson represented the water polo team. Sophomore Michael Guerra, junior Adam Shigem and sophomore Alex Umstead made it from the men's track and field squad.

Relief pitcher David Meals, who led the Gauchos with five saves, made the baseball All-Academic squad while first baseman Jessica Ziegler represented UCSB on the softball All-Academic team.

Women's tennis player Asagi Onaga and men's tennis player Josh Finkelstein were each selected. Men's golfer Brian Hollenbeck was also named to the Big West's All-Academic team.

Earlier this year UCSB Athletics unveiled the BE Great initiative. BE Great is dedicated to maximizing leadership ability, strong on-campus interaction, and general welfare for all 450 student-athletes and Intercollegiate Athletics staff at UC Santa Barbara. BE Great also focuses on personal and career development, diversity, and social awareness, along with ensuring academic success. UCSB has a 92% student-athlete graduation rate.