Photo (L-R): Golden Eagle Distributors, Inc. Chairman of the Board Ginny Clements, Caleb Hoover, Johanna Vang, Diane Buzzard, Austin Hasquet, Golden Eagle Distributors, Inc. CWO Christopher Clements
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – On Wednesday, NAU's brightest student-athletes were honored at the 37th annual Golden Eagle Awards held at the High Country Conference Center. The annual luncheon recognizes Northern Arizona University's student-athletes who maintain at least a 3.0 grade point average in the classroom. Golden Eagle Distributors, Inc., honored 191 Lumberjack student-athletes for their scholastic and athletic accomplishments.
Among the 191 award winners, four student-athletes received the highest honor with Austin Hasquet of the football team and Caleb Hoover of the cross country/track & field team named the Co-Male Senior Scholar-Athletes of the Year. On the women's side, Diane Buzzard of the soccer team and Johanna Vang of the women's tennis team were presented with Co-Female Senior Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors.
Hasquet graduated in December with 3.97 GPA and a degree in biomedical science, capping an outstanding career at NAU in all facets. In his senior year alone, the Peoria, Ariz. native became NAU's first finalist for the National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete award and was a William V. Campbell Trophy finalist. He was a two-time Capital One CoSIDA First Team Academic All-American and four-time Big Sky All-Academic selection among his many other athletic accomplishments. Last semester, he also earned the NAU Gold Axe Award. On the field, he was a three-time all-conference player who led the team in tackles during his junior season and finished second on the team as a senior. He finished his career as the school's all-time leading tackler with 256.
"It's truly humbling," Hasquet said. "I never thought I'd do something like this. I'm truly proud to represent NAU and I try to do things the right way, every day as Coach Souers says. This honor is a reflection of all the people – my coaches, my parents and all the administrators – who put their time into making me the person I am."
Hoover will graduate in May with a degree in biomedical science and has been a model student-athlete for the cross country and track & field programs. Last spring, he earned All-American honors in the steeplechase during the outdoor track & field season and followed with an All-American finish at the NCAA Cross Country Championship in the fall. Having accomplished both feats, he became the only current member of the program to earn All-American distinction in both areas. In the fall, he was named an Academic All-American by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) with a 3.97 GPA and helped NAU earn the USTFCCCA Division I Scholar Team of the Year in 2013. The Joplin, Mo. native is an active member in the NAU Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and has been named to 10 Big Sky All-Academic teams over his career.
"It means a lot to me," Hoover said. "It means that everything you've worked for four years was worth it. I try to be at the top, try to be my best and to be recognized for that in the end means quite a lot to me."
Buzzard has represented her hometown of Flagstaff well over the last four years on the soccer pitch and in the classroom and will earn her degree in civil engineering with a minor in mathematics in May. Buzzard, owner of a 3.72 GPA, started every match during her final season this past fall and was a member of a Lumberjack defense that allowed less than one goal per game, which culminated with the team's first Big Sky tournament title since 2009. She was named All-Big Sky Honorable Mention for the second time in her career and also picked up her fourth Big Sky All-Academic honor. The 2012 Capital One CoSIDA First Team Academic All-District selection will receive the NAU Gold Axe Award this semester and is an active member in the community as the President of the Global Engineering Outreach and member of the American Society of Engineers.
"It's really an honor," Buzzard said. "It's been a long process and I've had so much support at NAU over the last four years. It's been a really good experience and it's a nice culmination of all the support I've gotten as a student-athlete in athletics."
Vang has been perfect in the classroom since arriving at NAU, carrying a 4.00 GPA into her commencement ceremony next month as a marketing major with a business economics certificate. A leader for the NAU women's tennis team, the three-year captain is a three-time All-Big Sky conference selection for efforts on the court and has a total of 44 career singles wins and 49 career doubles wins to her name. The Sollentuna, Sweden product will also be a recipient of the NAU Gold Axe Award for the spring 2015 semester and has excelled off the court completing over 200 hours of community service while also serving on SAAC. She is on her way to being named to the Big Sky All-Academic team and receiving All-Academic honors from the Intercollegiate Tennis Association once again, which would make her a four-time honoree of both awards.
"It's such an honor," Vang said. "I worked so hard in the classroom and on the court. It all accumulated into this award and it feels good to be recognized for all the hard work."
All 15 of NAU's athletic programs were represented and honored for their continued commitment to developing quality student-athletes not only in competition but in the classroom as well. The football and soccer programs each had a department-high 36 honorees. The women's cross country and track & field program produced 34 scholar-athlete award recipients while the swimming & diving team garnered 24 honorees.
The Golden Eagle Awards were first presented in the spring of 1979 to honor athletes who maintained high levels of scholastic achievement while performing with distinction in NAU's athletic programs. It has since become an integral part of tradition at NAU and more than 2,600 Golden Eagle Awards have been presented over the years. Former Golden Eagle Award winners have since gone on to distinguish themselves in all walks of life, carrying on the fine personal tradition of excellence embodied in these coveted awards.
Golden Eagle Distributors has been the exclusive distributor of Anheuser-Busch products across most of Arizona since its creation in 1974. The family-owned company is headquartered in Tucson with branch offices in Casa Grande, Buckeye, Flagstaff, Globe and Holbrook, Ariz.
For more information about Golden Eagle Distributors, Inc. please visit www.gedaz.com.