April 2, 2009
Four student-athletes will represent Eastern Washington University's athletics department on the floor of the Washington House of Representatives on Monday (April 6) in Olympia, Wash., as part of a state-wide celebration of National Student-Athlete Day.
The four include Alex Smyth and Bonnie Berscheid of the track and field teams, football player Chris Thomas and soccer player Lillian Bourret. Joining this talented Eagle quartet will be scholar-athletes from colleges and universities across the state.
Started in 1987, National Student-Athlete Day is celebrated every April 6 across the country to honor outstanding student-athletes who have achieved excellence in academics and athletics while making significant contributions to the community.
The day is also a time to recognize those parents, teachers, coaches and school systems which make it possible for student-athletes to find the balance between academics and athletics.
Smith was named EWU Scholar-Athlete for the month of October 2008 as well as Big Sky Conference All-Academic in cross country and indoor and outdoor track and field every season since he started competing in the fall of 2007. Athletically, the junior was sixth at the 2008 Big Sky Cross Country Championships and 13th the year before.
Thomas has been honored on the Big Sky All-Academic team each of his first three years as an Eagle. He also earned ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District 8 accolades this past fall and was the Scholar-Athlete of the Month at Eastern in November 2008. The junior's athletic accolades include being named All-Big Sky honorable mention in 2008. He also helped the 2007 squad lead the Big Sky in yards per game (462.3).
Berscheid earned Big Sky All-Academic honors in both indoor and outdoor track and field her first three years at Eastern. The senior was named EWU Scholar-Athlete of the Month in May 2008, as well. She is also the two-time defending Big Sky discus champion. Berscheid placed ninth at the NCAA West Regionals in that event in 2008 and 15th the year before.
Bourret is co-president of EWU's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and was also named Big Sky All-Academic her final three years as an Eagle. The senior earned All-Big Sky honorable mention accolades in 2008 and was named to the All-South Dakota State Invitational that season. In September 2007, Bourret earned Big Sky Defensive Player of the Week honors. Her three assists that year remains tied for the second-highest total in Eagle history.