Welch Recognized as Big 12 Fall Scholar Athlete

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
DECEMBER 08, 2017

NORMAN Oklahoma junior Paige Welch was recognized as the 2017 Big 12 Soccer Co-Scholar Athlete of the Year Friday. The conference recognizes one student-athlete in each of its sports with the honor following a vote from head coaches. 

Welch, a biomedical engineering major from Austin, Texas, boasts a 4.0 GPA and shared the honor with Baylor's Precious Akanyirige. She appeared in 18 matches as a junior, tallying an assist. For her career, Welch has started 59 games including all 23 games her sophomore season. She has three goals in her career as a Sooner, all game winners. Welch has garnered Academic All-Big 12 First Team honors the last two seasons and Academic All-Big 12 Rookie accolades in 2015-16. 

Welch becomes the seventh Sooner student-athlete and second soccer player to receive the Scholar-Athlete of the Year award from the Big 12. Other Sooners to receive the honor are Rachel Ressler (soccer, 2015-16), Marissa Beene (rowing, 2015-16),Ty Darlington (football, 2014-15), Sallie McLauren (volleyball, 2013-14), Gabe Ikard (football, 2013-14) and Kevin Williams (outdoor track and field, 2012-13).

The Big 12 Conference established its Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award in 2012-13. A recipient is named in each conference-sponsored sports. Every Big 12 institution nominates one individual per sport with the winners selected by a vote of the league head coaches for that sport, who are not allowed to vote for their own student-athletes. Scholar-Athlete of the Year nominees must be a junior or senior (athletic and academic standing), have a cumulative grade point average of 3.20 or higher, participate in at least 60 percent of the team’s scheduled contests and have a minimum of one year in residence at the institution.

The award caps a successful season in the classroom for OU soccer as 11 Sooners were named to the Academic All-Big 12 team, including nine first-team selections.



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