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Somerset, NJ -- One student-athlete apiece from Gardner-Webb, Monmouth, Mount St. Mary's, Sacred Heart and St. Francis (PA) comprise the 2005-06 Valley National Bank Winter Scholar-Athlete award winners. In addition to the Scholar-Athletes, the NEC also announced its winter academic honor roll, consisting of 275 student-athletes. All Scholar-Athlete award winners must have earned a minimum of 60 semester hours, maintained a minimum cumulative grade-point-average of 3.20 and participated with distinction as a member of a varsity team.
Sacred Heart graduate student Kibwe Trim (San Juan, Trinidad/St. Mary's) claims Valley National Bank Scholar-Athlete accolades in men's basketball. A 6'10" center, Trim was named to the all-NEC first team after leading the conference with 19.2 points per game and 14 double-doubles. A dominant post presence, he also ranked third in the league in field goal percentage (.618; ninth nationally) and fourth in rebounding (8.6 rpg). At the conclusion of the season, he became the first Sacred Heart student-athlete at the Division I level to earn ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America honors. Trim, who hails from San Juan, Trinidad, closed out his career as the leading rebounder in the Pioneers' Division I history with 642 boards and stands second with 1,237 points. His 58.6 percent career field goal shooting accuracy is the highest ever at Sacred Heart. A Computer Science major, Trim maintains a 3.69 grade point average.
Monmouth senior Niamh Dwyer (Thurles, Ireland/Presentation Covenant) is the recipient of the Valley National Bank Scholar-Athlete award for women's basketball. Dwyer, who finished sixth in the league in scoring with 14.1 ppg in 2005-06, was tabbed to the all-NEC first team for the second year in a row. and is a three-time conference all-star. The versatile guard also ranked in the NEC top-20 in assists (3.0 apg; 10th), free throw percentage (.755; 10th), steals (1.7 spg; 14th) and rebounding (5.1 rpg; 17th). One of only two Monmouth players to ever post a triple-double, Dwyer wrapped her playing career third on the school's all-time list with 154 three pointers and sixth with 1,265 points. A native of Thurles, Ireland, Dwyer carries a 3.77 grade point average majoring in Business Marketing & Management.
Gardner-Webb senior Taylor Simpson (Boiling Springs, NC/Crest) earns her second consecutive Valley National Bank Scholar Athlete honor in women's swimming. In leading Gardner-Webb to its third straight NEC Women's Swimming & Diving championship in February, Simpson won the 200 individual medley (2:05.73) and 200 breaststroke (2:19.89), then anchored the Bulldogs' 400 freestyle relay team, which established a new conference record with a time of 3:28.33. She set three school records during the 2005-06 season (100 & 200 breaststroke and 400 IM) and was named all-NEC in three individual events (200 & 400 IM and 200 breaststroke) and four relay events (200 & 400 medley and 200 & 400 freestyle). Simpson concluded her star-studded career with four individual NEC titles and six relay titles. The Boiling Springs, NC product was named an ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American a year ago and could become a repeat honoree when at-large winners are announced later this spring. A Gardner-Webb Presidential Scholar, Simpson is listed in the Who's Who Among Students In American Universities and Colleges and has been named to the Dean's List and Gardner-Webb Academic Honor Roll each semester she has been enrolled at the school. She is also the President of the Gardner-Webb chapter of the Sigma Delta Pi, the Spanish National Honor Society, and is a member of Alpha Chi, a National Academic Honor Society. Simpson holds a double major in English and Spanish and is a perfect 4.0 student.
St. Francis (PA) senior Patrick Quinn (Glen Ellyn, IL/St. Francis Prep) becomes the third consecutive Red Flash student-athlete and sixth in the last seven years to walk away with the Valley National Bank Scholar-Athlete award in men's indoor track and field. Quinn captured the 5,000 meter title at the 2006 NEC Indoor Track & Field Championships in February, crossing the tape in 15:04.97. He also finished fourth at the meet in the 3,000 meters. By virtue of his first place finish in the 5,000 meters, Quinn earned his fourth career all-NEC distinction after placing second in the mile at the 2004 and 2005 events and helping the Red Flash distance medley team to the 2004 crown. Hailing from Glen Ellyn, IL, Quinn is a Philosophy major who sports a 3.52 grade point average and is a seven-time member of the NEC Academic Honor Roll.
Mount St. Mary's junior Mandy Jenkins (Wallkill, NY/Valley Central) takes home Valley National Bank Scholar-Athlete plaudits in women's indoor track and field. At the 2006 conference championship meet, Jenkins won the NEC pole vault title for the third consecutive year by clearing 11' 9 3/4", nearly one foot better than her closest competitor. She is the league record holder in the event with a 12' 3 3/4" inch vault at the 2004 NEC Championships. The Wallkill, NY native also owns school records in both the indoor and outdoor pole vault. A 2005 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District honoree, Jenkins is pursuing a double major of Biochemistry and Chemistry. Her grade point average is a near-perfect 3.93.
2005-06 Valley National Bank Winter Scholar-Athletes
Sport Name School GPA Major
Men's Basketball Kibwe Trim Sacred Heart 3.69 Computer Science
Women's Basketball Niamh Dwyer Monmouth 3.77 Business Marketing & Management
Women's Swimming Taylor Simpson Gardner-Webb 4.00 English & Spanish
Men's Indoor Track Patrick Quinn St. Francis (PA) 3.52 Philosophy
Women's Indoor Track Mandy Jenkins Mount St. Mary's 3.93 Biochemistry & Chemistry