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Monday, January 21, 2019

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SDSU women's tennis player Paola Diaz de Regules SDSU women's tennis player Paola Diaz de Regules

12 SDSU Student-Athletes Honored for Academic Excellence and Service

Students are honored for exemplifying the highest standards of scholarship, athleticism and humanitarianism.
By La Monica Everett-Haynes

One dozen San Diego State University student-athletes have received the highly competitive Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar Award, which recognizes undergraduate students who have excelled both in the classroom and on the athletic field. This year’s group represents the highest known number of SDSU students to receive the award in a single year.

The award, sponsored by major U.S. news publication, Diverse: Issues In Higher Education, is named in honor of tennis legend Arthur Ashe Jr.

This year’s more than 1,200 national recipients are student-athletes representing a range of collegiate athletic conferences and institutions, including Duke University, the University of California, San Diego, the University of Washington and Vanderbilt University.

Eligibility requirements for the award include competing in an intercollegiate sport, maintaining at least a 3.2 cumulative grade point average and active participation on or off campus.

SDSU’s recipients include rower Tara Montgomery, who was also recognized as the 2018 Arthur Ashe Jr. Female Athlete of the Year for her individual sport category. Montgomery has been a member of SDSU’s first and second varsity eight crews as a starboard rower.

A four-time Mountain West All-Academic team selection and 2015 all-conference second-team performer, women’s soccer forward Angela Mitchell was also named an Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar. Mitchell, who completed her senior season in the NCAA tournament in November, played in 82 games over four seasons at SDSU and tallied 19 goals, including nine game-winners and two assists for 40 points. Her 19 career goals are tied for ninth in Aztec history.

Football cornerback Ron Smith was also named. Smith started all 13 games last year at cornerback for the Aztecs, recording 62 tackles (46 solo), a team-high 16 pass breakups, two tackles for loss, two interceptions and a forced fumble. He ranked 13th nationally in passes defended (INT + PBU) per game (1.38) and second in the Mountain West.

The other 2018 SDSU recipients and their sports are:

Paola Diaz de Regules, women’s tennis

Diaz finished her senior season with Aztec women's tennis at the conference championships in April, totaling a 54-58 career record in singles and competed in one of the top three spots in nearly every match over the course of her junior and senior seasons. Diaz is the only current Aztec senior with a career doubles record over .500, going 47-42 in doubles action in her four years on the Mesa.  

Chase Calabuig and Jorge Fernandez, baseball

Calabuig has been an instrumental part of the SDSU lineup in 2018, hitting .347 with five home runs, four triples, 20 doubles and driving in 40 runs. A two-time Mountain West All-Academic selection, Calabuig has started all 48 games this year and has reached base in 45 games this season. Among the Mountain West, Calabuig ranks 10th in batting average.

Fernandez, in his second year with the Aztecs after transferring from San Jacinto College in Texas, is tied for the team lead with six wins and recorded six saves while serving in the closer's role to start 2018. Since joining the starting rotation, Fernandez owns a 2.14 ERA and 3-0 record. Fernandez earned Mountain West All-Academic team honors in his first year on the Mesa in 2017. Fernandez has a 3.23 grade point average as a social science major.

Mila Chaves, women’s golf

Chaves, who sports a 3.51 grade point average in finance, became the Aztecs’ second straight medalist at the Mountain West Championship last month after firing a 3-under-par 213 to claim her first individual title as a collegian. Overall, Chaves leads SDSU with eight rounds at or below par, featuring a season-best 69 on the second day of the MW Championship, and ranks second on the team with a 75.68 scoring average.

Je’Neal Ainsworth, Lakin Hatcher, Tyra Lea, Monique McPherson and Jasmine Young, women’s track and field

Ainsworth is a standout triple jumper for the Aztecs who has finished in first or second in five of her seven triple jump competitions this season. Ainsworth was named to the Mountain West All-Academic Team in 2017.

Hatcher set a new PR in the 400-meter dash last weekend, finishing in 54.89, topping her previous best time by over a second. Hatcher helped the Aztecs finish in second in the 4x400 relay (3:40.72) at the 2018 Mountain West Indoor Championships and is a two-time Mountain West All-Academic honoree.

Lea, who will be pursuing a doctorate of physical therapy at the University of Washington next fall, has been named to the Mountain West All-Academic team three times, a Mountain West Scholar Athlete twice and has been an All-Mountain West Outdoor honoree three times.

Young was named a Mountain West Scholar-Athlete in 2015 and was a Mountain West All-Academic honoree in 2017.

12 SDSU Student-Athletes Honored for Academic Excellence and Service
Students are honored for exemplifying the highest standards of scholarship, athleticism and humanitarianism.