(Editor's note: MSUB Athletics release)
PORTLAND, Ore. – A total of 33 student-athletes from Montana State University Billings received the top academic award from the Great Northwest Athletic Conference for the 2020-21 school year, as the conference office announced its FAR Scholar Athletes presented by Barnes & Noble College on Friday.
Twenty-three women and 10 men among MSUB’s varsity athletic teams were recognized with the honor, which is reserved for student-athletes who maintain a grade point average of 3.85 or higher throughout the academic year.
Standing out among MSUB’s selections was women’s soccer senior Rachel Lythgoe, who earned the honor for the fourth time in her career. The Yellowjackets also had four athletes who received the honor for the third time in their careers, including Emily Gaines of the women’s soccer team, Tierney Messmer of the women’s golf team, Shannon Reny of the women’s basketball team, and Sam Elliott of the men’s basketball team.
MSUB’s repeat selections included Haylee Gunter of the women’s soccer team, Marissa Logozzo of the volleyball team, Shelby Marquardt of the softball team, Mason Powell and Cort Dietrich of the baseball team, and Kolten Unrein of the men’s soccer team. 17 1 4
Among MSUB’s first-time FAR Scholar Athletes were four juniors, one sophomore, and 17 freshmen. A full listing of the award winners from the 2020-21 academic year can be found in the GNAC release online here.
Lythgoe is the 12th athlete in MSUB history and the fourth Yellowjacket women’s soccer player to receive the honor four times in her career as she joined Lilli Delgadillo (2016-19), Jordan Devoto (2016-19), and Amanda Hemmen (2017-20).
All student-athletes listed on any MSUB athletic team were eligible to receive the honor, which is presented by the conference’s faculty athletic representatives. A faculty athletic representative (FAR) is a member of the faculty at an NCAA member institution who has been designated to serve as a liaison between the institution’s faculty and the athletic department. The FAR serves as a representative of the institution in conference and NCAA affairs.
The role of the FAR is “to ensure that the academic institution establishes and maintains the appropriate balance between academic and athletics.”