The "40 Great Moments" campaign exists to bring attention to the athletic excellence, academic excellence, community engagement, and sportsmanship that has made up the Sunshine State Conference over the last 40 years. Moments were nominated by current and former student-athletes, coaches, administrators, alumni and fans. The final 40 moments were decided upon by vote of conference Sports Information Directors. The "40 Great Moments" campaign will conclude during at 2016 Sunshine State Conference Hall of Fame on March 6th.
SSC Boasts Four Elite 89 Winners in 2012-13
Four Sunshine State Conference student-athletes earned the prestigious Elite 89 Award from the NCAA in 2012-13. Four recipients ranked first of any Division II conference that year and most in a year for the SSC.
The Elite 89 (now called Elite 90) is an award founded by the NCAA that recognizes the individual who has reached the pinnacle of competition at the national championship level in his or her sport, while also achieving the highest academic standard among his or her peers. The award is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA championships.
Rollins senior cross country runner, Lauryn Falcone, was named the Sunshine State Conference's seventh overall NCAA's Elite 89 award winner and first of 2012-13. Falcone was one of nine participants in the race with a 4.0 GPA but won the award by having the most credit hours. The Somers, Conn., native is the first Rollins student-athlete to win the prestigious NCAA Elite 89 award.
The biology major posted a time of 22:36.0 over the 6K course. She was 164th at the halfway mark but worked to finished 124th, capping off the most decorated career in Tars cross country history.
Martin Wehlert, a senior men's soccer athlete at Lynn University, was the second SSC recipient of the Elite 89 award for 2012-13. Wehlert became the third Fighting Knight to hold the award in its short history.
Wehlert, majoring in business administration, carried a perfect 4.0 grade point average. The Halle, Germany, and the Fighting Knights went on to win the national championship, 3-2, over Saginaw Valley.
Florida Southern College's Robbie Swan won the 2012-13 award for men's swimming. The junior from Snellville, Georgia, recorded a perfect 4.00 GPA to secure FSC's third Elite 89 honor. Swan helped Florida Southern finish as the NCAA Division II national runner-up, the highest finish ever for any men's swimming team from the Sunshine State Conference.
At the national championships, Swan picked up a total of five All-American awards while participating in four relay and two individual events. As the anchor on the 200 medley relay team, Swan helped the Moccasins not only win the national championship in that event, but set a new NCAA record as well.
Nova Southeastern University sophomore rower, Kelsey Obringer, earned a 3.94 GPA as a political science major, putting her above all athletes in the field of six rowing programs at 2013 nationals. The Port Republic, N.J. native is the only NSU to win the Elite 89,
On the water, Obringer was a strong part of the four boat throughout the season. She competed three varsity-4 events during 2012-13, and raced against the top schools in the country in the open four at Dad Vails.
To date, the SSC has 16 Elite 89 winners. Student-athletes from six schools and 12 different sports have been honored. Barry University, Florida Southern College, and Lynn University all boast four winners.
The list of Elite 89 winners from the SSC can be seen, here.