Wingate's Holmquist and Queens' Wallis Receive South Atlantic Conference Presidents Award

Wingate's Holmquist and Queens' Wallis Receive South Atlantic Conference Presidents Award

ROCK HILL, S.C. ( Holmquist from Wingate and Daniel Wallis from Queens have been selected as the recipients of the 2018-19 South Atlantic Conference Presidents Award, the Conference office announced today.

The highest individual honor presented annually by the South Atlantic Conference, the Presidents Award is voted on by the league's Faculty Athletic Representatives and to be eligible, student-athletes must exemplify excellence in athletics, academics and community service. Further, to be nominated for this prestigious award, the individual must have been honored as the Scholar-Athlete of the Year during the year in one of the league's 20 sponsored sports.

"Anna and Daniel are shining examples of the term student-athlete, achieving success in the classroom and on the court and track," said South Atlantic Conference Commissioner Patrick Britz. "We are honored to recognize them with this prestigious award, and we are even more proud to have them represent the South Atlantic Conference."

Holmquist, a senior volleyball player from Lincoln, Neb., was named the 2018 SAC Scholar-Athlete for volleyball and received Academic All-American Honors. She led the Bulldogs to three SAC regular season championships, two SAC tournament championships and an NCAA Southeast Region title during her career, while earning All-SAC, All-Region and All-American honors. Holmquist led the conference in hitting percentage and was also ranked in the top-5 in the nation in the same category.

The recipient of the first-ever SAC Bob McCloskey Insurance Postgraduate Scholarship in 2019, Holmquist earned the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship in February and was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to Brazil in 2020.  She boosts a 3.94 GPA in Political Science, with minors in Spanish and International Studies. She will attend the University of Pittsburgh for graduate school, where she will pursue a master's degree in international development.

"As Anna continues to earn various awards, we are all so proud of her for all she has accomplished and the notoriety she has received," Wingate head volleyball coach Shelton Collier said. "I know each award is meaningful to her in different ways, and with this being the first time this particular scholarship honor has been awarded to a SAC student-athlete, it is special that Anna was named as the recipient." 

Holmquist's service has not only included the surrounding community of Wingate, but also her hometown of Lincoln. While a Bulldog, she has been an academic tutor in Spanish, political science, English, and history. She also participated in, and directed, volleyball's involvement in Wingate's United Way Day of Caring, while serving as a research assistant to a political science professor and co-authoring of a paper on international women's rights. She was an undergraduate presenter at the North Carolina Political Science Association Annual Conference, and she was a peer mentor for Gateway 101, a freshman course that helps new students develop academic and leadership skills. Holmquist published a paper in the Wingate Research Review in the fall of 2018, entitled "Analyzing HPV Vaccination Policy".

Every summer in Nebraska, Holmquist has been busy interning and volunteering her time, in addition to coaching middle and high school girls' volleyball at a local club. She interned with a national non-profit (American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska), where she has been involved with a Nebraska health/civic awareness festival, aided the Inspector General of Child Welfare and assisted with a state legislative campaign. She served as an ELL volunteer and trainee at Lincoln Literacy, non-profit that connects non-English speakers with tutors to help them learn the language, and worked with Lincoln Lighthouse, an after-school non-profit that helps at-risk youth graduate from high school and gives them a safe and engaging place.

Wallis, a senior communications major from Guilford, United Kingdom, has a 3.8 GPA and was the 2018 SAC Men's Cross Country Scholar-Athlete of the Year. He is a member of the Royal Society, is a four-time SAC Commissioner's Honor Roll selection, a three-time Academic All-American and is part of the Queens Gold Standard Program. Additionally, Wallis holds a bachelors degree in materials engineering from Loughborough University in England. 

"Daniel is the definition of student-athlete," said Queens head men's and women's cross country coach Tom Scott.  "He does a wonderful job in the classroom and is an All-American on the track.  It has been such a pleasure working with Daniel.  He sets the standard high for future Royals cross country and track and field athletes.  We are very proud of his accomplishments and winning Scholar-Athlete of the Year award is well deserved."

The 2018 SAC Men's Cross Country Runner of the Year, Wallis led the Royal men to their second consecutive conference championship and to the 2018 NCAA Southeast Region Championship. He earned all-conference and all-region honors for the second straight year, and behind his leadership the Royals placed ninth at the 2018 NCAA Division II National Championship.

In addition to his success on the cross country course, Wallis was a two-time indoor and outdoor track & field All-Region selection in the 800-meter, the 1,500-meter, the mile, the 3,000-meter, the 5,000-meter and the distance medley relay.  He placed second at the NCAA Indoor National Championship in the mile and earned All-American honors in the 1,500-meter and the 5,000-meter during the 2019 NCAA Outdoor National Championship.

Off the cross country course and track, Wallis has been an active member of the community. He has volunteered at schools talking about being a student-athlete and competing at the national level, he is a member of the Rotaract Volunteer Group and he works with the Queens Alumni Outreach Team, which helps raise funds for student scholarships at Queens.

2018-19 SAC Presidents Award Women's Finalists

Allison Conn, Queens
Lise Malherbe, Lincoln Memorial
Nicole McMillen, Tusculum
Alexy Mollenhauer, Anderson
Claire Neibergall, Lenoir-Rhyne

2018-19 SAC Presidents Award Men's Finalists

Keegan Bell, Tusculum
Daniel Belsito, Wingate
Luke Gibson, Newberry
Seth Hunt, Lincoln Memorial

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