Heavens wins Scholar-Athlete Award

Senior goalkeeper Kristen Heavens, a standout on the field hockey team, was recently awarded the 2009 America East Scholar-Athlete award.  

The NCAA chooses a recipient from each of the six fall sports — men’s and women’s soccer, volleyball, and men’s and women’s cross-country.  Heavens was chosen as the field hockey honoree.

Heavens maintains a 3.55 GPA in the physical education program here at UVM.  She was also a member of the America East Field Hockey All-Academic Team in the previous two seasons.     

This 2009-10 season is the 13th consecutive year that a Vermont athlete has been awarded the America East Scholar-Athlete award.    

“We are incredibly proud of Kristen’s academic and athletic accomplishments while at Vermont,” head coach Nicki Houghton said. “Having the America East Conference publicly recognize her for her accomplishments is a bonus.”      

The team meets with their Academic Coordinator Ami Forbes biweekly to make sure they are up to speed with all of  their academic requirements.

Freshman athletes are also required to attend regular study table sessions.    

“Our first-year students are required to coordinate four hours in season and six hours out of season of study table a week.  Any team member who has below a cumulative or semester GPA of 3.0 is also required to complete the above listed study table hours,” Houghton said.    

“Maintaining a high GPA while training year-round is challenging but manageable,” Houghton said.     

Players take advantage of bus rides and hotel stays on their road games to help keep their grades up.  They also have to develop excellent time management skills in order to keep up with their work and stay committed to practices and games.    

“I’ve learned to develop very strong time management skills,” senor field hockey player Megan Maynard said. It is important to set time aside to work in practice time, lifting, homework, social life and rest.”   

“I like to take advantage of our long bus rides,” Maynard said. “I usually get all of my reading done on the bus and I write papers in the hotel rooms.”   

Coaches and players are very proud of Heavens’s accomplishment, as well as the team’s general consistency with GPA and academics.     

“To have success, the athletes must make the choices and sacrifices necessary to be academically and athletically successful,” Houghton said. “We are fortunate to have a team that strives to give their best.”