PELLA —Central College women’s tennis player Jenna Hernandez (sophomore, Slater, Ballard HS) and wrestler Julian Rodriguez (junior, 141 pounds, Escondido, Calif.) were included on an impressive national list of student-athletes nominated for their academic and athletic accomplishments announced in a recent issue of the magazine Diverse: Issues in Higher Education.
The Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar Awards Program is designed to honor undergraduate students who have excelled in the classroom as well as on the athletic field. Inspired by tennis legend Arthur Ashe, Jr.’s commitment to education as well as his love for the game of tennis, U.S. colleges and universities are invited to participate in this annual award program by nominating their outstanding sports scholars. In addition to their athletic ability and academic performance. Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars demonstrate a commitment to community service and student leadership.
Hernandez was 7-7 in doubles matches for Central, including a 6-5 mark in dual contests. She added a 2-4 record in singles play. A two-time varsity letterwinner, Hernandez earned her first Academic All-American Rivers Conference honor this season.
Rodriguez has a 3.83 GPA as a computer science major. Rodriguez was 4-9 on the mat as a junior, earning his first varsity letter. He’s also a two-time academic all-conference honoree.
The nominations are whittled down to 10 male and 10 female semifinalists. The process then shrinks the field to four finalists before a male and a female nominee are awarded the title of Arthur Ashe Jr., Sports Scholars of the Year.
On the men’s side, football linebacker Nakobe Dean of the University of Georgia was the national winner while Ohio State University ice hockey player Sophie Jacques was the female winner.