CLEVELAND, OH - The Mid-American Conference announced today the Distinguished Scholar Athletes from the eight spring sports during this 2018-19 academic season and five University at Buffalo student-athlete made the list. Three members of the men's outdoor track and field team made the list: Brandon Burke, Daniel Muldoon, and Baltaj Sandhur as did Chantal Martinez Blanco from women's tennis and Hao Sheng Koay from men's tennis. These selections were voted by the faculty athletic representatives at MAC institutions.
Burke is a sophomore with a 3.756 GPA in aerospace engineering. He won the MAC title in the high jump and represented the Bulls at the NCAA Division I East Region Preliminary Rounds in Jacksonville, FL. Five times he won the high jump during the outdoor season, including a season-best 2.20m at the Jim Thorpe Meet.
Muldoon is a senior exercise science major with a 3.640 GPA. Muldoon mostly ran the 800m for the Bulls, finishing with a season-best 1:55.41 in the preliminary rounds of the Mid-American Conference championships, where he qualified for the finals.
Sandhur is a sophomore biomedical sciences major with a 3.912 GPA. He competed in the 400m hurdles where he had a season-best time of 56.83 at the Bison Outdoor Classic. He also ran the 110m high hurdles at a pair of meets and was part of the 4x400 relay team that ran at the Mid-American Conference Outdoor Championships.
Koay, who earned the MAC Commissioners Award this past year, is an electrical engineering major with a 3.516 GPA. A second-team All-MAC selection, Koay tied for the team lead in singles wins this past year with a 20-10 record, including going 15-4 at third singles. He was also part of Buffalo's number one doubles team, going 7-5 at first doubles. Overall, he won 11 doubles matches on the year.
Martinez Blanco, who has a 3.781 GPA in economics, earned the MAC Presidents Award and was awarded the Clifford C. Furnas award, which is the highest academic honor bestowed on a Buffalo student-athlete. On the court, she went 16-12 in singles this past year, including winning 13 matches at first singles as she was named a second-team All-MAC selection. Martinez Blanco also dominated in doubles, going 20-9 with partner Nikoleta Antoniou-Karademitrou, including 15-6 at first doubles. She finished her career with 80 wins, just the fourth player in school history with 80 or more singles victories in her career.
The Distinguished Scholar Athlete is an award in its fifth year given to students who have excelled in athletics and academics. Following each season from the winter sports schedule, any student 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.
From the Academic All-MAC Teams, the faculty athletic representatives selected the 'best of the best' of our Academic All-MAC Teams to be honored with Distinguished Scholar Athlete Award for the 2018-19 season. A Distinguished Scholar Athlete must have a 3.50 GPA or higher and the number of Distinguished Scholar Athletes from each sport were equivalent to the number of first-team selections or 20% of nominees, whichever was greater.