Six Student-Athletes Recognized on Academic All-State Squad

Photo by Joanna Caples.

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Six Bridgewater College student-athletes were among the 221 student-athletes recognized on the 2013 Academic All-State team, released on Tuesday afternoon by the Virginia Sports Information Directors (VaSID). To earn Academic All-State honors, a student-athlete must have achieved at least a 3.25 grade point average and be at least a sophomore.

Seniors Joel Francis, Peter Hawkins, Ryan Speray, Tim Wisniewski and Jeni Zeiler were joined by junior Taylor Rose on the Academic All-State team which recognizes some of the state’s top academic performers.

Francis earned a spot on the all-state football team following up on his selection by the Richmond Times Dispatch and Richmond Touchdown Club as the state's top defensive lineman and as the Roanoke Times College Division Defensive Player of the Year. The Woodbridge, Va. native also earned a spot on the D3Football.com South Region team, becoming the first All-Region defensive choice for the Eagles since Dominic Jeter's third team selection in 2010. Earlier in the offseason, Francis was also named the Lou Wacker Defensive Player of the Year by the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) and also picked up first team all-conference accolades.

Hawkins posted a stellar senior season with the Eagles, helping to lead the program to an appearance in the ODAC men’s tennis championship match. In singles play, Hawkins earned first-team honors at number one singles after finishing the season with a 16-4 record. Hawkins' lone loss in conference play came against ODAC Player of the Year Hayden White of Washington and Lee. Hawkins and teammate Sam Churchill also picked up a first-team selection at number three doubles. The duo finished the year with a 15-6 overall record and a 9-1 mark in conference play.

Speray, a native of Gloucester, Va., ranks in the all-time top five in four separate track and field events and competed on the indoor 4x800 meter relay squad that set the school record in the event. During the 2013 indoor season, Speray set new personal bests in the mile run and 3,000 meter run.

Wisniewski was the 2013 ODAC Indoor Track and Field Scholar Athlete of the Year and also earned the 2013 ODAC Outdoor Scholar Athlete of the Year award. Wisniewski holds the indoor 1,000 meter run record and ranks in the top five in three indoor events. Also during the 2013 indoor season, Wisniewski aided the team to the indoor 4x800 meter relay and distance medley relay records with the distance medley relay team also setting a new conference record in the process.

Zeiler wrapped up a strong career with the Eagles by earning third team All-ODAC honors. With her sixth place effort in the 100 yard breaststroke, Zeiler earned All-ODAC recognition for the first time in her career. Zeiler also aided the Eagles in setting school records in the 200 and 400 yard medley relays.

Finally, Rose won the national title in Individual Open Equitation On the Flat at the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA)National Championship Show. Rose won the title in a class of 16 riders from around the nation at the 40th Annual Championship Show. Rose is the second Bridgewater rider in program history to win a title at the IHSA national show.

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.