INDIANAPOLIS - Track & Field standout Aaron Merrill of Youngstown State and tennis champion Mariya Kovaleva of UIC have been named U.S. Army Horizon League scholar-Athletes of the Month for April.
Merrill (Leetonia, Ohio), a senior thrower, won the shot put at the Horizon League Outdoor Track & Field Championships for the fourth time in his career. He is the only four-time shot put champion in Horizon League history. Merrill added a second-place finish in the hammer and third-place mark in the discus at the League championships.
A Criminal Justice major, Merrill holds a 3.79 grade-point average. He was named Youngstown State's Scholar-Athlete of the year on April 27. Merrill is also a Third Team Academic All-America and First-Team Academic All-district selection in 2009, including a five time Academic All-Horizon League selection-three times in indoor and twice in outdoor.
Kovaleva (Almaty, Kazakhstan), a sophomore, remains undefeated at No. 1 singles in League play two years running, including the title clinching win at this year's Horizon League Championship. She led the Flames to its 14th consecutive league championship and 12th NCAA tournament appearance. She was named Player of the Year for the second straight season and carries a 25-5 overall singles record this year.
In the classroom, Kovaleva carries a 3.71 grade-point average; major undeclared. She also boasts the highest GPA on UIC's active roster.
The Horizon League instituted the U.S. Army Scholar-Athlete of the Month awards as a way to recognize outstanding academic and athletic achievement by its student-athletes. To be eligible for the honor, a student-athlete must maintain a cumulative grade-point average of 3.20 or better (on a 4.00 scale), have completed at least one year at the member institution, passed 24 semester or 36 quarter hours and perform well during the month's competition. Winners are selected by the League's faculty athletics representatives, from nominations provided by sports information directors.
Tags: UIC - Tennis · Youngstown State - Track and Field