Feb. 21, 2012
By Bob Thomas, Seminoles.com
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Florida State cross country standouts Mike Fout and Hannah Brooks had few peers on the course while representing the Seminoles nationally ranked men's and women's teams in 2011. They have fewer peers when it comes to combined academic and athletic excellence.
Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner John Swofford announced Tuesday that Fout and Brooks had been selected as winners of the 2011 ACC Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award for their respective sports, completing Florida State's second sweep of the league's top award for excellence in cross country and academically in the last three years.
A senior from La Porte, Ind., Fout finished fourth at the ACC Championships for the runner-up Seminoles, then followed with a second-place finish at the NCAA South Region as Bob Braman's team captured the title. He capped his collegiate cross country career by placing 32nd at the NCAA Championships, good enough for his second consecutive All-American honors, while leading FSU to a 12th-place team finish. That's the third-highest team finish in program history for the `Noles.
Brooks, a graduate student from Catheram, England, was equally impressive for women's coach Karen Harvey's powerhouse program, which spent a nation-leading five weeks ranked No. 1 nationally. Brooks finished third at the ACC Championships as the Seminoles finished atop the 12-team field for a fifth consecutive year, and was the runner-up the next time out as FSU swept its way to the NCAA South Region. She closed the season finishing 20th at the NCAA Championships, earning her first All-American honors in cross country. Florida State finished fourth in one of the closest battles in meet history.
"We had a really good fall," Braman said. "Certainly it was a top-three men's team all-time at NCAA; we were 12th. The team GPA was well over 3.0. For cross country, this is a nice icing on top of the cake, that we won the Scholar-Athlete of the Year with Mike Fout. It's a great honor and we're excited about that. ... He's always worked hard in his academics. He's going to try and go to physical therapy school and this is a great resume piece for him."
Harvey was equally thrilled for Brooks.
"What an honor for Hannah, recognizing her excellence in graduate studies and in her sport," Harvey said. "She is an extremely hard worker and very organized. It's nice to see her efforts and talents being rewarded. Our program is proud of the complete student-athletes we have on the team. Academics are a big priority for FSU athletics."
Eligibility for the ACC Scholar-Athlete of the Year requires a minimum 3.0 GPA from the previous semester and a 3.0 cumulative GPA over the course of a career. Fout and Brooks were well outside the minimums.
Fout, who is completing his undergraduate degree in psychology, has a career 3.48 GPA. Brooks, who is completing her master's degree in sport psychology, boasts a perfect 4.0 GPA.
"We get recognized at Florida State because we've been good for a while and athletically very gifted," said Braman, who was quite proud the Seminoles swept top honors on the men's and women's sides. "It's nice to see that these top people in our program do a great job in the classroom and win these honors from a very distinguished academic conference like the ACC."
The Seminoles, in fact, have dominated the ACC Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award in cross country over the past three season, with Harvey's women earning the top honor each year. Jennifer Dunn was the 2010 recipient, while Susan Kuijken captured the 2009 award. FSU men's cross country standout Matthew Leeder gave the `Noles a sweep in 2009, winning the Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award.
In addition to the league's highest honor, seven additional Seminoles were recognized Tuesday with their selection to the All-ACC Academic team in cross country.
The Florida State women, led by Brooks, had a league-leading six representatives on the team. Juniors Amanda Winslow, Jessica Parry and Kayleigh Tyerman were joined by freshmen teammates Colleen Quigley and Aubree Worden. Senior Seth Proctor joined Fout on the men's All-ACC Academic team.