Bulletin News

Brignall, Martens earn SUNY and SUNYAC fall academic awards


Cortland senior men's cross country runner Hunter Brignall (Seneca Falls/Mynderse Academy) and junior women's volleyball libero Mikenzie Martens (Carthage) have been honored as both State University of New York (SUNY) and State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) Fall Scholar Athletes of the Year in their respective sports for the 2023 season. 
Brignall is a physical education major with a 3.74 overall GPA at the conclusion of the fall semester. He earned SUNYAC Men's Cross Country Runner of the Year honors and placed fourth at the NCAA regionals to earn All-Niagara Region recognition. Brignall was the top SUNYAC finisher at the NCAA Division III Championships with a 108th-place showing. He also finished fourth at the SUNYAC Championships to earn first-team all-league honors and a spot in the SUNYAC Cross Country Hall of Fame, and he won the title out of 278 runners at the Rowan University Border Battle during the regular season. 
Martens is a physical education major who completed the fall semester with a 3.99 overall GPA. She earned honorable mention All-America honors and first-team All-Region 3 recognition from the American Volleyball Coaches Association, and she was chosen as the SUNYAC Defensive Player of the Year as well as to the all-conference first team. Martens earned spots on both the SUNYAC and NCAA Regional all-tournament teams. Earlier this month, Martens was named to the College Sports Communicators (CSC) Division III National Academic All-America third team - the first Cortland women's volleyball player to earn an Academic All-America award. She finished the season with 502 digs (5.1 per set) and a .970 serve reception percentage and helped Cortland win its third straight SUNYAC title. 
The SUNYAC Scholar Athlete Award winners are selected from each of the SUNYAC's sponsored sports. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must have a minimum overall grade point average of 3.30, be a starter or significant reserve on his or her team and have an academic class standing of sophomore or higher. 
The SUNY Scholar Athlete Awards recognized student athletes from SUNY colleges and universities sponsoring intercollegiate athletics at the four-year and two-year levels who were nominated and voted upon by representatives of their respective institutions. Nominating information includes cumulative grade point average, current and career statistics, and athletic and academic honors. 
More than 14,000 student-athletes compete at SUNY institutions representing 53 different colleges and universities at the NCAA Division I, NCAA Division III/USCAA and NJCAA levels and are eligible for the awards. The 19 Division III institutions in the SUNY system are: Alfred State, Brockport, Buffalo State, Canton, Cobleskill, Cortland, Delhi, Farmingdale, Fredonia, Geneseo, Maritime, Morrisville, New Paltz, Old Westbury, Oneonta, Oswego, Plattsburgh, Potsdam and SUNY Poly. SUNY-ESF, a member of the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA), participates in the program with the 19 NCAA Division III members for a total of 20 colleges and universities. 
The SUNY Scholar Athlete Awards, which originated in the fall of 2022, recognized outstanding academic and athletic success in 29 different sports and are presented three times a year to coincide with the specific sports contested in the fall, winter and spring seasons. The Scholar Athletes of the Year in each sport will then be nominated for an overall Scholar Athlete of the Year for men's sports and women's sports in each category that will be announced in mid-July. Because sport sponsorship varies among institutions, a minimum sponsorship formula has been developed for award selections. At least three (3) institutions must sponsor the sport in the Division I category, while at least five (5) institutions must sponsor the sport in the SUNY Division III/USCAA and SUNY NJCAA categories. For sports that do not meet the minimum threshold to be a viable award, an At-Large Category has been developed for each level and each season.