Elizabeth Weiers Awarded NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship

Posted on July 29th, 2015 by

Elizabeth Weiers becomes the 37th Gustavus student-athlete to earn an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.

INDIANAPOLIS – The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has announced its 2015 spring sports postgraduate scholarship winners. Among the list of 29 male and 29 female recipients was Gustavus Adolphus College track and field throwing specialist Elizabeth Weiers (Le Center, Minn.).

“This is another outstanding achievement for Liz,” said head track and field coach Dale Bahr. “Each award or recognition that Liz has earned these past few months has been well deserved and a testament to the hard work and dedication she showed to her classes and her time with the track and field program. As I’ve said on several occasions, we’re fortunate to have had her on our team as a top-notch athlete as well as a leader and role model. As her coach, I’m very proud of her, not just for her athletic accomplishments, but her academic achievements as well.”

“One of the things that stands out about Liz is that she was involved in so many things, but she knew when her plate was full, and was able to make a commitment to those things on her plate and become very good at them all,” added Bahr. “She is very organized, is very motivated, and is filled with character, and this is why she was a fantastic leader for our team. Liz put in hours upon hours of drills, and it was her hard work and determination to get to the top that made her so good from an athletic standpoint. That type of work ethic is contagious: she was a great role model because those younger kids saw what she was capable of, not just athletically, but in the classroom as well.”

Created in 1964, NCAA postgraduate scholarships promote and encourage education by rewarding the Association’s most accomplished student-athletes. To qualify, student-athletes must excel academically and athletically, be in their final year of eligibility and plan to pursue graduate study. Student-athletes must also maintain at least a 3.2 grade-point average and be nominated by their institution’s faculty athletics representative.

Elizabeth Weirs earned a cumulative GPA of 4.0 during her time at Gustavus.

Elizabeth Weirs earned a cumulative GPA of 4.0 during her time at Gustavus.

Weiers, who graduated from Gustavus this past May, solidified her place as one of the College track and field program’s most decorated hammer throwers with a second consecutive gold medal performance at this season’s MIAC championships by successfully defending her 2014 title with a winning toss of 168 feet, 9 inches. The two-time conference champion and three-time all-conference honoree in the hammer throw is Gustavus’s first MIAC champion in the hammer throw since Tona Schmidtke ’04 captured the title in 2001. Weiers is also the program’s first three-time all-conference performer in the hammer throw since Kirstin Olinger ’96 and Jen Mull ’97 accomplished that feat in the mid-1990s. Not since Mull did it in 1995 and 1997 and Olinger in 1994 and 1996 has a Gustavus hammer thrower won an MIAC title twice. Weiers also broke the school record in the hammer throw with a toss of 173 feet, 11 inches recorded at the Minnesota State University, Mankato Twilight Meet on April 29.

Weiers went on to record an 11th-place finish at the 2015 NCAA championships in Canton, New York, her second consecutive appearance on the national stage, after posting a throw of 168 feet, 7 inches. At the 2014 NCAA championships, Weiers took home All-America Honorable Mention honors with a 13th-place finish after posting a toss of 165 feet.

“Liz was, and will continue to be, a role model for people of all ages who get to know her,” said Weiers’s teammate Kaylee Maxon (New Richland, Minn.). “She is the perfect example of someone who succeeds because of the hard work she puts in.  No matter what she does, she puts 110 percent effort into it. I swear she never missed a single day in the weight room, woke up early every morning to do extra training, and did countless drills outside of practice. Coach practically had to bribe her to get her to leave a practice early. We always joked that if there was an event for ‘Endurance Throwing,’ she would win the Olympics because she never wanted to be done throwing. Her work ethic in track and in academics pushed me and other teammates to strive for our best.”

“Liz always competed well and scored the team points, even against higher division schools. More importantly though, her passion for track and field, her desire to have a cohesive team, and her leadership skills are what made her a good teammate,” added Maxon. “No matter what event was happening, she was right there being our team’s biggest cheerleader. Having Liz as a teammate made me, and others too, want to work hard and be the best that we could be. Liz has positively impacted Gustavus track and field in an incredible way, and I couldn’t imagine not having her as my teammate for four years.”

As an English major, Weiers also separated herself in the academic sphere with a perfect 4.0 cumulative GPA during her time at Gustavus. The Le Center, Minnesota, native was named the winner of the 2015 Evelyn Young Award, which is presented to the senior female student-athlete with the highest cumulative GPA. She also earned academic all-conference honors six times, is a two-time recipient of the MIAC’s Elite 22 Award (MIAC outdoor championships), earned the NCAA’s Elite 89 Award at the NCAA championships two seasons in a row, and was recently named to the Capital One Academic All-America Division III Track & Field/Cross Country First Team.

“I am delighted to hear that Elizabeth was named a recipient of the NCAA’s Postgraduate Scholarship,” said Gustavus English Professor So Young Park. “Elizabeth’s academic excellence, work ethic, sense of responsibility, and commitment to a community of learning place her in a class of her own. Elizabeth epitomizes the scholar-athlete: she’s a stellar student with abounding intellectual curiosity and a stellar athlete with a long list of accolades in track and field. As an English major, Elizabeth excelled in academic and research work throughout her four years in the department. She represents the kind of thinker, athlete, and student that a college like Gustavus excels at supporting and nurturing.”

Weiers is the 37th Gustavus student-athlete to receive an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. Women’s hockey player Carolyn Draayer (Deephaven, Minn.) was the most recent recipient, as she received the scholarship this past winter, while football player James Goodwin was the first Gustie to be honored with the award in 1974. The NCAA awards up to 174 postgraduate scholarships annually, 87 for men and 87 for women. The scholarships are one-time, non-renewable grants of $7,500 that can be used for research, books, tuition, and other educational expenses at any graduate school.

NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship Website


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