Ricks and Wall Tabbed as Scholar Athletes of the Month

Women’s tennis and men’s track represented for first time in 2010-11

Freshman Helon Ricks of the Eastern Washington University women’s tennis team and Brad Wall from men’s track and field were selected by the EWU athletic department as the April Scholar-Athletes of the Month. This award recognizes the athletic and academic success of student-athletes, based primarily on performances turned in during the month prior.

Ricks is a freshman from Hot Springs, Ark., and has earned a 3.68 grade point average in her first year at Eastern. Wall, a 2008 graduate of Evergreen High School in Vancouver, Wash., has maintained 3.31 GPA in exercise science.

More on Ricks

Ricks currently owns the best singles record on the EWU squad at 10-7. She has played in 17 of 19 matches for the Eagles this season, primarily at No. 5 and 6 singles. Ricks won three-consecutive matches during the month of March, two of which were against Big Sky Conference opponents. Against Montana State on March 12, Ricks won both her doubles and singles matches, and on March 6 against Northern Colorado, she was the only Eagle to record a singles victory when she bested Jill Kappel in straight sets, 7-6 (7-5), 6-1.

Ricks has actually lost only one conference duel this season, and that was last weekend against the nationally-ranked Sacramento State Hornets. Prior to the match against the Big Sky’s perennial power, she boasted the best singles record of all players in the league at 5-0.

In addition to her success in conference, Ricks had two notable wins against a non-conference foe during the month of March. Playing at No. 1 doubles for the first time in her career, Ricks and partner Caitlin Bampton defeated Seattle’s Ariel Ohno and Anna Lambert, 8-6. Ricks was also victorious in singles action against the Redhawks, as she downed Sarah Lucas in straight sets at No. 4, 6-1, 6-3.

More on Wall

Just a month after winning the 400 meters at the Big Sky Indoor Championships with a new school-record time of 47.58, junior Brad Wall opened his outdoor season with a Big Sky Conference qualifying time of 47.88 to win the event at the esteemed Stanford Invitational on March 25.

Wall took a break from the 400 on April 2 at the Al Manuel Invitational in Missoula, Mont., but still dominated the track. He won the 100 with a time of 11.19 and placed second in the 200 in 22.38. He later ran the anchor leg on both the 4x100 and 4x400 relays, which each claimed victories at the double-dual meet against Montana and Montana State.

Wall is currently ranked second in the Big Sky Conference standings in the 400, trailing familiar foe Adel al Nasser from Northern Arizona. Al Nasser was the favorite in the indoor 400 before Wall defeated him at the conference championships in Pocatello, Idaho. Wall is ranked fourth in the league in the 200 and ninth in the 100.

Wall is also the school-record holder in the outdoor 400 with a time of 46.78, which he set last outdoor season when he won the event at the BSC Championships in Ogden, Utah.

Wall will get a chance to defend his title May 14 at the league championships in Sacramento, Calif.

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