The Atlantic 10 Conference named Charlotte's track and field athlete Macey Ruble and Richmond's swimmer Mali Kobelja its Male and Female Scholar-Athletes of the Year respectively Tuesday.
The annual award is presented to a male and female from an Atlantic 10 Conference member institution that best exemplifies the term student-athlete. Each nominee must be a starter or significant contributor to his or her team and must carry at least a 3.0 GPA. Each institution is permitted one nominee from each gender. The award is then voted on by the league's Directors of Athletics.
Ruble is the eighth 49er and the third straight Charlotte student-athlete to win the male award. He is also the 11th track & field athlete (male or female) to earn the honor. Kobelja is the first Richmond student-athlete, male or female, to win the award. She is also the award's first swimmer, male or female.
Charlotte has won eight of the possible 14 awards since joining the league. Charlotte swept both the male and female awards in the last two years and have had at least one recipient in all but one year.
Ruble, a senior from Boone, N.C., completed his degree this spring with a double major in Physics and Mathematics with a minor in Psychology. A two-time CoSIDA/Capital One Academic All-District III choice (2012, 2010), he was a first team selection in 2012 and earned Academic All-America Third-Team on the national ballot. He won both the Atlantic 10 Conference Postgraduate Scholarship Award and the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship Award, both prestigious awards for student-athletes continuing on to graduate school. A three-time winner of Charlotte's Hugh McEniry Award as 49ers top male student-athlete after posting highest GPA among male student-athletes, Ruble also was inducted into Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society in 2010 and Sigma Pi Sigma National Physics Honor Society in 2011. He is a four-time member of Chancellor's List and A-10 Conference Commissioner's Honor Roll. A prime example of the term student-athlete, Ruble was the 2010 A-10 Indoor Track Championship runner-up in the pole vault and he placed third in the pole vault at the 2009 and 2010 A-10 Outdoor Championships. He has been a top five finisher at the Atlantic 10 outdoor championships in the pole vault for three straight years and he owns the 49ers third-best mark all-time in the pole vault. His efforts on the field have been instrumental in Charlotte's success, scoring points at the A-10 indoor championships in each of his four years. He has been a member of six A-10 Champion track and field teams as 49ers won A-10 indoor titles in 2008, 2009 and 2010 and outdoor titles in 2009, 2010, 2012.
Kobelja, a sophomore from Fort Wayne, Ind., earned seven gold medals at the 2012 A-10 Championship, where she was named Most Outstanding Performer of the meet, the sixth Spider to earn the honor. She won three individual golds at the Atlantic 10 championships, clocking career-bests in each of her events, the 200 individual medley, the 400 individual medley and the 200 breast. She qualified for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials in the 200 IM, where she clocked a time of 2:21.80 to finish 95th overall in the prelims of the 200 IM. Kobelja also earned three A-10 Performer of the Week honors and will serve as a team captain for the 2012-13 season. She was a CollegeSwimming.com Mid-Major All-America Honorable Mention and a CSCAA Honorable Mention All-American in 2010-11. Kobelja is as impressive in the classroom as she is in the pool, earning Academic All-Conference honors and as a member of the A-10 Commissioner's Honor Roll as a Biology/Pre-med major. Active in the Richmond community, she also mentors with the area Higher Achievement and with Pathways to a College Experience program at John Marshall High School. A volunteer for Youth Life Foundation of Richmond she is also a Community Outreach committee member with Students for Educational Equality, a volunteer with the Manchester YMCA translating flyers, a Leader of YoungLife Ministries' Timothy Project, and a University of Richmond Swim Clinic coach.
A-10 Scholar-Athletes of The Year
Male: Macey Ruble, CHA (Track and Field)
Female: Mali Kobelja, RICH (Swimming)
Male: Darius Law, CHA (Track and Field)
Female: Megan Minnix, CHA (Soccer)
Male: Corey Nagy, CHA (Golf)
Female: Hailey Beam, CHA (Soccer)
Male: Zack Simmons, UM (Soccer)
Female: Theresa Lisch, SLU (Basketball)
Male: Randy Moley, SBU (Baseball)
Female: Lindsey Ozimek, CHA (Soccer)
Male John DiRaimondo, SLU (Soccer)
Female: Jane Daniels, CHA (Cross Country/Track)
Male: Mike Ambrose, CHA (Baseball)
Female: Kristen Clary, XU (Tennis)