Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Winning combination

Students excel in academics and athletics

This academic year 17 Wheaton student-athletes have earned 2011 New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference All-Academic Team honors. Honorees are required to have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale or 4.35 on a 5.0 scale after the 2011 spring season. They also need to have been a member of a varsity team for the entire season. The students may play different sports and pursue different majors, but they all have one thing in common—commitment to being the best in academics as well as athletics. Performing amazing balancing acts every day, they push their bodies and minds as far as they can, while wishing they could do even more. We asked some of them about the secret to their success.

The Wheaton NEWMAC All-Academic Team

2011–12 NEWMAC All-Academics

Women’s cross country

Men’s cross country

  • Michael Richard

Field hockey

Men’s soccer

Women’s volleyball

Women’s soccer

  • Jessica Stuart

Women’s Tennis

Shoshana Kruskal ’14

Shoshana Kruskal ’14Major: Psychology (early childhood education minor)

Sport: Cross country, track

Extra points: Elisabeth Amen Nursery School aide, preceptor

Success on the track or trail: When I cross the finish line at the end of a race, I consider it successful if I have left everything out on the course. Depending on the conditions of that day and race, the time may not always reflect the hard work that I, or anyone on the team, puts in, but if I finish a race and I’ve given it my all, and I know I couldn’t have done any better, then I consider it a success. An important aspect of distance running is the mental mindset. This year I tried to work on always having a positive attitude. My most successful races were the ones in which I went into them feeling confident and telling myself that I was going to do well. Another important part of success is the team’s support. It’s easy for people to think that cross country is an individual sport, but really I could never imagine getting on the line to race without my team. Even if we end up finishing the races at different times, seeing them during races and knowing that we’re all rooting for each other is an important support that I couldn’t do without.

Success in the classroom: Academic success isn’t just about getting an A in everything, but about what you take away from the class. There have been times when I worked hard in a class and learned a lot, and even though my grade may not have been perfect, I considered it a success if I walked away from the class knowing more than I did before. Being able to take classes that really interest me is definitely a big part of doing well. It’s easy to be motivated to do work when it’s all about topics that I enjoy.

Winning combination: Motivation. I could never be a runner if I wasn’t driven to do so, and I think success in the classroom also comes from wanting to do well.

Lyndsay Cooke ’14

Lyndsay Cooke ’14Major: studio art

Sport: Tennis

Extra points: Athletics office worker

Success on the court: Winning is of course very important, but I really do believe that it is not everything. Knowing that I gave every ounce of energy I had, whatever the score, is pretty satisfying. Two of my siblings play tennis so it helped to always have people to practice with. At Wheaton, my team and coach really push me to be better and they make it all worth it.
Success in the classroom: Giving 100 percent.

The winning combination: Dedication, hard work, determination, and focus are necessary in the classroom and on the court. My biggest challenge is that there are not enough hours in the day for everything I need to get done.