May 24, 2012
Newport News, Va. — Standout high jumper Christopher Copeland of Saint Augustine’s College was named 2012 CIAA Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year on Thursday, May 24, 2012, during the CIAA Spring Luncheon at the Newport News Marriott at the City Center.
Copeland leads three St. Aug student-athletes on the 2012 CIAA Commissioner’s All-Academic Team which was also announced Thursday. He was selected to the first team along with three-sport star Kathryn Tokarski of the Lady Falcons. Basketball sensation Keyona Bryant of the Lady Falcons made the second team.
The trio was among 20 student-athletes who earned league all-academic honors. The first and second teams were voted on by the CIAA-Sports Information Directors Association. To be eligible for the all-academic team, a student-athlete must have completed one full academic year at a CIAA institution, earned a minimum 3.20 overall grade point average and have excelled as a starter or significant reserve in a CIAA sanctioned sport.
This is the third straight year a St. Aug student-athlete has won the conference’s scholar-athlete award. Past winners for St. Aug were track and field star Orolando Duffus in 2010 and basketball standout Allison Sikes in 2011. Copeland was chosen this year based on his superb athletic and academic accolades.
The 2012 CIAA indoor and outdoor high jump champion, Copeland graduated in May with a cumulative grade point average of 3.64. The sports management major won the 2012 NCAA Division II indoor high jump title with a career-best leap of 7-3 and is among the favorites to take home the outdoor high jump crown. He entered the Division II Outdoor Nationals, which started Thursday, ranked third in the nation. A Suffolk, Va., native, Copeland is the Atlantic Region indoor and outdoor male field athlete of the year for 2012. Copeland’s parents accepted the award at the luncheon for their son, who is Pueblo, Colo., for the D-II outdoor championship meet.
Tokarski joined Copeland on the first team with a cumulative GPA of 3.810. A Saskatchewan, Canada native, Tokarski achieved high academic marks at St. Aug in addition to excelling in women’s volleyball, softball and outdoor track and field. She was named CIAA Tournament MVP in volleyball after leading the Lady Falcons to the league championship and their first NCAA Division II tournament berth in eight years. Tokarski led the softball team in batting and earned All-CIAA honors in track and field after placing second in the women’s javelin. A two-time All-CIAA volleyball player, Tokarski graduated in May with a degree in human performance and wellness.
Bryant was a second-team selection with a 3.256 GPA. A Springdale, Md., native, Bryant garnered CIAA MVP honors in women’s basketball after leading the conference in scoring and ranking third in rebounding. She also was the female winner of the CIAA Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award which exemplifies excellence in athletics, academics and community service. A Daktronics all-region first team member and All-American candidate, Bryant scored 1,601 points during her spectacular four-year career which includes three All-CIAA honors, a league basketball rookie of the year award and a spot on the All-CIAA rookie team. The career points are the most for a Lady Falcon in the modern era. Known affectionately as “Smilez”, Bryant graduated in May with a communications degree.
St. Aug also garnered several other honors Thursday for its achievements on the playing field and the classroom in the 2011-12 season. The school received plaques for winning the league's team highest GPA award in the following sports - women's volleyball, women's basketball and women's indoor and outdoor track and field. Head coaches Rachel Bullard (basketball) and Nikki Bynum (volleyball) accepted the team GPA awards for their respective sports while head football coach Michael Costa accepted the academic awards for track and field in the absence of iconic head track coach George Williams, who is at the NCAA Outdoor Nationals. Williams also won plaques for being named CIAA men's indoor and outdoor track and field coach of the year which Costa accepted on Williams' behalf. Anthony Jeffries was named CIAA sports information director of the year.