BUFFALO, NY – 13 student-athletes from the University at Buffalo's winter sports were named to the MAC Distinguished Scholar Athlete list on Friday. This is in addition to the 12 student-athletes who earned the honor for Fall sports earlier this year.
Men's swimming and diving lead the way with four members, Charles Barry, Garrett Clarke, Itai De La Vega, and Dan Roche, listed on the MAC Distinguished Scholar Athlete list. Megan Burns, Victoria Butler, Jess Powers, and Alexis Valedon represent the women's swimming and diving team. Barrett Kemp, Christine Lyttle, and Amy Shaw were indoor track and field team's three student-athletes to be recognized. Two student-athletes from Women's Basketball, Liisa Ups and Katherine Ups, also made the list.
Earning captaincy as a sophomore, Liisa Ups enjoyed a strong second season at Buffalo as she appeared in 25 games while earning the start in a career-best 16 games. She averaged 12.3 minutes per game while also notching 2.0 points, 1.7 assists and 1.6 rebounds. After starting 16 of the first 17 games of the season, Ups closed out the season as a key bench player and finished off her first career NCAA Tournament game with four points.
Katherine Ups turned out to be one of the Bulls most improved players during the 2015-16 campaign as the sophomore appeared in all 34 games and started 32. The aggressive defender finished the season third on the team in minutes played per game (24.4) while ranking fourth in points per game (5.6 PPG) and rebounds per game (4.7 RPG). She led the team in offensive rebounds with 69 while also ranking fourth on the team with 40 assists, a new career-high. Ups finished the season with eight double digit scoring games as well as three double digit rebounding efforts. Her best game of the season came against Central Florida when she led the Bulls to victory as she netted her first career double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds.
Barret Kemp finished fifth at MAC's in the 5,000 meter run to cap off a successful indoor track season. The junior biological sciences major is a distance runner on the UB track and field team and uses the discipline from the track to excel in the classroom.
Chrissy Lyttle finished fifth in the 60 meter hurdles at MAC's. The junior political science major currently holds a 3.934 GPA and her season-best time in the 60m hurdles was 8.55.
Amy Shaw placed third in the 5,000 meter run and fourth in the 3,000 meter run during the indoor track and field MAC championships. She broke the school record in the 5,000 meter run with a time of 16:29.13 and her season-best time in the 3,000 meter run is 9:38.87.
Megan Burns had another exceptional year in the pool for Buffalo. For the third-straight year, she won three gold medals at MAC's. She broke the 50 freestyle and 800 freestyle relay school records at the conference championship. Burns participated in the NCAA Tournament for both the 50 yard and 100 freestyle events and was named All-MAC First Team.
Victoria Butler earned MAC Swimmer of the Week honors for the week of October 8th. She placed 13th in the 400IM and 14th in the 1650 freestyle events at the MAC Championships. The sophomore exercise science major currently has a 3.738 GPA.
Jess Powers capped off a successful career at UB by winning the 500 free and 1650 freestyle events at MAC Championships. She was named All-MAC First Team and also placed sixth in the 200 free.
Alexis Valedon boasts a perfect 4.0 GPA as a health and human services – early childhood development major at UB. She swam in the 100 breast, 200 back, and 200 IM at the MAC Championships and earned a top-20 finish in the 100 breast.
Charles Barry was named All-MAC Second Team. He placed 10th in the 500 free, fourth in the 400 IM, and 3rd in the 1650 free during MAC Championships. He is studying business and currently has a 3.26 GPA.
Garrett Clarke placed fourth in the 200 breast, ninth in the 100 breast, and 14th in the 200 IM at MAC's. The sophomore swimmer is majoring in math and holds a 3.42 GPA.
Itai De La Vega was named All-MAC First Team. He broke the MAC Championship record in the 100 breast as he won that event and the 200 medley relay. He also placed ninth in the 200 breast and 11th in the 50 free during MAC's.
Dan Roche finished seventh in the 3m diving and ninth in the 1m diving events at MAC's. He also qualified for NCAA Zone A qualifiying. The sophomore diver currently holds a 3.74 GPA in engineering.
Later this year, the MAC will announce the Distinguished Scholar Athletes from the remaining six spring sports sponsored by the conference.
The Distinguished Scholar Athlete is a first-year award given to student-athletes who have excelled in athletics and academics. Following each season from the fall sports schedule, any student-athlete with a 3.20 GPA and participation in at least 50 percent of the contests was automatically named to the previously announced Academic All-MAC Team from each sport. Also, first-year students and junior college transfers in their first year of residence were not eligible for the award.
A complete list of student-athletes from Buffalo who made the MAC Distinguished Scholar Athlete list is below.
Barrett Kemp, Buffalo, Junior, 3.864 GPA, Biological Sciences (Shinglehouse, PA)
Charles Barry, Buffalo, Junior, 3.26 GPA, Business (Hartsdale, NY)
Garrett Clarke, Buffalo, Sophomore, 3.42 GPA, Mathematics (Liverpool, NY)
Itai De La Vega, Buffalo, Sophomore, 3.68 GPA, Business (Zichroon Yackov, Israel)
Dan Roche, Buffalo, Sophomore, 3.74 GPA, Engineering (Liverpool, NY)
Megan Burns, Buffalo, Sophomore, 3.464 GPA, Nursing (Rochester, NY)
Victoria Butler, Buffalo, Sophomore, 3.738 GPA, Exercise Science (East Amherst, NY)
Jess Powers, Buffalo, Senior, 3.835 GPA, Communication (Kalamazoo, MI)
Alexis Valedon, Buffalo, Senior, 4.00 GPA, Health & Human Services - Early Childhood Development (Brewster, NY)
Christine Lyttle, Buffalo, Junior, 3.934 GPA, Political Science (Canadaigua, NY)
Amy Shaw, Buffalo, Junior, 3.667 GPA, Graphic Design/Communication (Auckland, New Zealand)
Katherine Ups, Buffalo, Sophomore, 3.925 GPA, Biomedical Sciences
Liisa Ups, Buffalo, Sophomore, 3.929 GPA, Medicinal Chemistry