Kleckner earns NCAA's Elite 89 honor

Mike Ludwig
May 7, 2012

ANGOLA, Ind. - St. Olaf senior Vanessa Kleckner is the recipient of the Elite 89 award for the 2012 NCAA Division III Women's Golf Championships. Kleckner, majoring in biology and mathematics with a concentration in biomedical studies, currently carries a 3.98 GPA.

Kleckner was presented with the award during the event's banquet on Monday night. St. Olaf is making its first appearance in the NCAA Division III championships, which begin on Tuesday.

In October, Klecker fired school records for an 18-hole round (74) and 54-hole (229, 77-78-74, +13) event as she won the individual title to lead St. Olaf to its first MIAC championship in school history.

She improved steadily over her four-year career at St. Olaf. She averaged 92.3 strokes/round as a first year, 88.3 as a sophomore, 85.3 as a junior and has averaged 81.5 thus far in 2011-12.

The Elite 89, an award founded by the NCAA, recognizes the true essence of the student-athlete by honoring the individual who has reached the pinnacle of competition at the national championship level in his or her sport, while also achieving the highest academic standard among his or her peers.

The Elite 89 is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA's championships. Eligible student-athletes are sophomores or above who have participated in their sport for at least two years with their school. They must be an active member of the team, traveling and a designated member of the squad size at the championship. All ties are broken by the number of credits completed.

Contact media relations specialist Mike Ludwig at (507) 786-3834 or ludwigm@stolaf.edu.