Rio's Mattia earns NAIA Scholar-Athlete Award
By Mark Williams --- Rio Grande Sports Information Director
Marion, Ind. --- The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) released its 2010 Daktronics-NAIA Track and Field Scholar-Athletes list over the weekend at the NAIA Outdoor National Championships. Junior Cassie Mattia represented the University of Rio Grande on the list.
Mattia, a native of West Chester, Ohio, also won the honor in the fall for cross country. She is majoring in Mass Communications. In addition to her excellence in the classroom, Mattia also qualified for both the indoor and outdoor national championships.
Mattia qualified in both the 600-meters and 800-meters at the indoor championships but only competed in the 600. She set a new school record in the 600 at Findlay, January 30 with a time of 1:41.92. Two weeks later she topped her school best mark at DePauw with a time of 1:38.98. She ran 24th overall at nationals with a time of 1:40.12.
"Obviously I'm extremely proud of her," said Rio Grande head coach Bob Willey. "It's very exciting to have any of our student-athletes earn this honor."
"This is what it's all about," Willey added. "We aim for this honor more than we do them earning All-American in competition."
"Cassie is very deserving of this honor. She puts the time in and dedicates herself to studying and competing," Willey said. "It's a great tribute to the type of student/athlete that she is."
Mattia is the daughter of Anthony & Michelle Mattia.
A total of 548 student-athletes were recognized by the NAIA for their work in the classroom. Student-athletes are nominated by their head coach and must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale and have achieved junior academic status to qualify.