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5 War Hawks named ASC Distinguished Scholar-Athletes

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Five McMurry University scholar-athletes have earned recognition on the 2016 Fall Distinguished Scholar-Athlete Teams from the American Southwest Conference, it has been announced by the league office. Honored from the War Hawks' teams were: Michael Benoit (men's cross country); Kirsten DeFrance (women's cross country); Jamir Bowser (football); Victoria Chavez (women's soccer), and; Katy Headrick (volleyball).

In all, 59 student-athletes from the ASC's 13 member institutions were named to the American Southwest Conference 2016 Fall Distinguished Scholar-Athlete Teams.

Benoit (Abilene, Texas), a sophomore kinesiology major, was the 2016 ASC men's cross country individual champion (26:34.8…won by 1:20 minutes). He was the first McM individual men's cross country champion since 2002 and was the top War Hawks' finisher in all six races of 2016. Benoit was also in the top-3 overall finishers in four races and top-10 in five-of-six races. He also placed 36 th at the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) championships in 2016.

DeFrance (Odessa, Texas), a senior business major, was McMurry's top women's cross country runner. DeFrance was a 2016 first-team All-ASC finisher with a third-place finish at the ASC championships (23:19.1). DeFrance helped the McM team to a second-place finish and was the McM team's top individual finisher in six-of-seven races. She also placed 27 th at the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) championships. DeFrance is a three-time ASC All-Academic honoree, as well.

Bowser (Austin, Texas), a junior computer science major, was a mainstay on the War Hawks' defense. As a defensive end, Bowser amassed 27 total tackles (17 solo). Bowser had 8.0 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. He also was credited with an interception, a forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

Chavez (Lubbock, Texas), a sophomore biomedical science major, is a two-year starter on the McMurry defensive half. She started 15 contests, before being forced to the sidelines due to a medical condition the final two matches. Chavez had one goal scored in 2016.

Headrick (Lubbock, Texas), a senior nursing major, is a four-time academic all-conference honoree (3-times ASC All-Academic & NCAA II Heartland Conference All-Academic as a freshman). Previously, Headrick was an ASC Distinguished Scholar as a junior, as well. Headrick was voted 2016 first team All-ASC and All-ASC West and, additionally, earned the 2016 Susan Hellings Award as the nation's outstanding volleyball player from the National Christian College Athletic Association (considering athletics, academics, leadership and Christian testimony). She is a two-time first team NCCAA All-Central Region and two-time NCCAA national Scholar-Athlete honoree. An all-around player who did not miss a set all season in 2016, Headrick had averages of 2.04 kills per set; 0.78 blocks per set; 1.97 digs per set; 0.33 aces per set, and; a .254 attack percentage.

The Distinguished Scholar-Athlete Teams recognizes student-athletes who achieve a high level of academic achievement (a 3.20 grade-point average or better) while competing as a starter or important reserve on their team. From that list - limited to one nominee per school in each ASC championship sport - the sports information directors from the 13 ASC member institutions select a Distinguished Scholar-Athlete in each sport.

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