Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Roadrunner trio earns C-USA Scholar Athlete of the Year awards

Roadrunner trio earns C-USA Scholar Athlete of the Year awards

JUNE 26, 2023 — UTSA student-athletes Oreoluwa Adamson (women’s track and field), Hailey Atwood (women’s basketball) and Abby Balli (women’s cross country) have earned the 2022-23 Conference USA Scholar Athlete of the Year awards in their respective sports.

The three Roadrunners join 13 other student-athletes from across the league who were selected by C-USA faculty athletics representatives as the top scholar athlete in each conference-sponsored sport based on academic achievement (GPA), athletic achievement and service.

In fact, UTSA matched Middle Tennessee, Rice and UAB with the most honorees on this year’s list of award recipients.

Adamson has accumulated a 3.87 GPA as a psychology major with a minor in intelligence and security studies. A native of London, England, she is a two-time USTFCCCA All-Academic Athlete and a three-time C-USA Commissioner’s Academic Medal recipient and Honor Roll member. 

Recently voted to the C-USA All-Academic Team, she has been named to the UTSA Dean’s List (3.75-3.99 semester GPA) four times and the President’s List (4.0 semester GPA) and Honor Roll (3.5-3.75 semester GPA) once apiece.

A four-time conference medalist in the horizontal jumps this year, Adamson swept the long and triple jump titles at the C-USA Outdoor Championships in May. She won the long jump with a school-record leap of 6.46 meters (21-2.5) and secured silver in the triple jump at the league indoor in February, as she tallied a total of 38 points in the two conference meets in 2023. Adamson garnered second-team All-America accolades with a 15th-place finish in the long jump at the NCAA Indoor and was an honorable mention All-American outdoors after finishing 23rd.

Adamson is involved in numerous community service activities, including serving on executive boards. She has volunteered her time as a peer mentor, election volunteer and with the MLK March, Women of Honor Fear Factor, Black Student Union and BASE ‘Hood’ Jeopardy Night, BASE Game Night, Roadrunners Give Back, CANtoberfest, Roadrunners in Action Voter Info Distribution, Black Health Professions and BASE Field Day, Jimenez Thanksgiving Dinner and on panels such as “Life as a Student-Athlete” and “Untangling the Truth: A Discussion on Black Hair.”

Atwood graduated summa cum laude in May 2023, posting a 3.96 GPA while earning her bachelor’s degree in in criminology and criminal justice. A three-time member of the UTSA President’s List, she was a two-time C-USA Commissioner’s Academic Medal recipient and landed on the league’s honor roll twice during her two years at UTSA.

A transfer from Blinn College — where she was an NJCAA Academic All-American — prior to the 2021-22 season, Atwood played in 58 career games and drew 32 starts as a Roadrunner. She averaged 3.8 points and 3.7 rebounds and posted 55 assists, 27 steals and 10 blocks during her UTSA career. As a senior in 2022-23, Atwood averaged 4.1 points and 3.2 boards per contest to go with 37 assists and 14 steals, helping the Roadrunners to a 13-win campaign that was capped by a run to the semifinal round of the C-USA Championship.

Atwood has given back to the community in various ways throughout her collegiate career. She was named 2022-23 Teammate of the Year by Team IMPACT, a multiyear program that matches children facing serious illness and disability with college athletic teams across the country, as she was honored in June for her involvement with UTSA’s Team IMPACT teammate Mia. She also has volunteered her time with Faith Mission, Austin Food Bank and Waterman Construction Basketball Camp as well as with storm clean-up assistance through Zion Rest Baptist Church and Apache Park Memorial.

Balli boasts a 3.61 GPA while working toward her M.B.A. after graduating cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in management in 2022.

The Pasadena, Texas, native has landed on the C-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll four times and the UTSA Honor Roll twice, and she is a C-USA Academic Medal recipient.

Balli has been a standout for the Roadrunners on the cross country course and track during her career. A two-time conference medalist, she was the league runner-up in the mile at the 2021 C-USA Indoor Championships and the bronze medalist in the same event one year later. She placed 29th at the C-USA Cross Country Championships, finished 15th at the UIW Invitational and was 72nd at the NCAA South Central Regional last fall.

Heavily involved in community service, Balli has volunteered her time with the Pasadena Eye Center of Texas, Animal Defense League and San Jacinto Intermediate School. She serves on the UTSA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) Executive Board as Vice President and has been a SAAC representative for the cross country program.

— UTSA Athletics

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