KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The MIAA announced its 2019 Winter Student-Athletes of the Year Awards. The male winner was Levi Wyrick of Pittsburg State and the female winner was Morgan Fleming of Central Missouri.
Levi Wyrick - Pittsburg State, Indoor Track & Field
Wyrick was an indoor track and field student-athlete this past winter season. He was the runner-up in the weight throw at the 2020 MIAA Indoor Track & Field Championships and earned All-MIAA honors in the event for the third time in his career. Wyrick qualified for the 2020 NCAA Division II Championship in the event before the meet was canceled due to the COVID-19 Global Health Pandemic.
Academically, the graduate student carried a 4.0 GPA in Educational Leadership. He was set to receive the NCAA’s Elite 90 Award as the student-athlete with the highest GPA at the NCAA Championship before the cancellation of the meet. The accolade would have been his third Elite 90 award in his career. Wyrick has also been a four-time NCAA Division II Academic All-America recipient in the sports of football and track and field. Last year, he was named with the MIAA’s Ken B. Jones Award as the Association’s top male student-athlete and earned MIAA Academic Excellence Awards each of his four years at PSU.
Wyrick spent time as a volunteer serving meals to those in need at the Lord’s Diner in Pittsburg, Kansas as well as volunteering at his hometown church. On-campus, he volunteered with the annual Youth Football Clinic for the Gorilla football team.
Morgan Fleming - Central Missouri, Basketball
Fleming was a women’s basketball student-athlete during the 2019-2020 season. She was named first-team All-American by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) and second-team All-Region by the D2 Conference Commissioner’s Association (D2CCA). Fleming also earned first-team All-MIAA accolades this past winter as she helped Central Missouri claim the MIAA women’s basketball regular-season conference title. She also led the Jennies to the tournament title and picked-up the Association’s Co-Most Outstanding Player of the Tournament Award. UCM was the top seed in the NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball Central Region Championship before the event was canceled due to the COVID-19 Global Health Pandemic.
In the classroom, the senior maintained a 3.8 GPA as a Biology major and Chemistry minor. Fleming received a CoSIDA Academic All-District accolade in 2019. She was also a four-time MIAA Academic Honor Roll recipient, three-time MIAA Scholar-Athlete recipient, and MIAA Academic Excellence recipient.
Fleming was involved as a volunteer with the Warrensburg Elementary Schools Adventure Club UCM Literacy Team, Community Clothes with the Warrensburg School District, and the WBCA Day of Service at Maple Grove Elementary School. She also volunteered at Warrensburg Parks and Recreation youth practices, Western Missouri Medical Center and at the Missouri Veterans Home as a Certified Nursing Assistant.
The 2019-2020 Student-Athlete of the Year awards are given in lieu of the annual Ken B. Jones award due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. The MIAA’s COVID-19 Task Force recommended an award that properly recognizes the top student-athletes from the fall and winter but not limit the spring sport student-athletes who were unable to finish their seasons and collect accolades for a fair and competitive resume.
A 15-member committee comprised of one administrator from each MIAA institution and the conference office ranked each candidate based on excellence in three categories: Athletic Achievement in that academic year, Career Academic Achievements, and Community/Campus Service during the Academic Year. A nominee must have at least a 3.25 cumulative grade-point average through the previous full semester term through February 1 of the academic year of nomination at the certifying member institution.
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