June 19, 2008

Three BU Athletes Named to PSAC Top 10 Team

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Amber Hackenberg
Sheelin Fisher
Dan Gal

BLOOMSBURG-- Three Bloomsburg University student-athletes have been named to the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Spring Top 10 team.

Honored for their work both academically and athletically are Amber Hackenberg (Middleburg/Middleburg), Sheelin Fisher (Coplay/Allentown Central Catholic) and Dan Gal (South Park, Pa./South Park).

Hackenberg earned her fifth PSAC Top 10 award after previously being selected in Fall 2006, Spring 2007, Fall 2007 and Winter 2007-08. She graduated with a near perfect GPA of 3.98 in business administration and was the top honors graduate from the College of Business. She was recently named to the first team CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America) All-District Academic team and will now be considered for Academic All-American honors. A year ago she was a third-team CoSIDA Academic All-American and CoSIDA Academic All-District first team. Hackenberg was also named to the 2007 All-Academic team by the US Track and Field Coaches Association.

Hackenberg was the winner of the 2007-08 winner of the Eleanor Wray Award as Bloomsburg's Top Female Senior Athlete. As a member of the cross country team Hackenberg earned All-PSAC honors after a fifth-place finish at the conference championships to help the Huskies to their first PSAC women's cross country championship in school history. She also earned All-Region honors with a sixth-place finish at the NCAA Regional championships and the first-ever regional title in school history which qualified the Huskies for the NCAA championships. At the NCAA national championships Hackenberg became the school's first All-American in women's cross country with a 34th place finish, the best ever placement for a BU runner. As a track athlete, Hackenberg qualified for the PSAC Indoor championships in three events and won the 5,000 meter event by more than 27 seconds over the second place finisher and took second at 3,000 meters to earn All-PSAC honors. In the outdoor season, Hackenberg qualified for the PSAC Outdoor championships in three events and shattered the school record at 5,000 meters by more than 25 seconds taking the mark from 17:43 to 17:16. She capped off her career by qualifying for the NCAA Division II championships at 5,000 meters. Overall in her career Hackenberg qualified for four NCAA track championships and two NCAA cross country championships.

She was also Bloomsburg's Female Underclassmen Athlete of the Year in 2005-06 and was a four-time women's cross country MVP and also the 2005 women's track team MVP.

Fisher was a pitcher on the Bloomsburg University softball team. With a GPA of 3.91 in elementary education, Fisher was a second-team All-PSAC pitcher this season with an impressive 16-3 record and 0.94 ERA, ranking second and fifth among PSAC pitchers in wins and ERA. Fisher was ninth in the league with 102 strikeouts and allowed just 24 walks in during her 119 innings on the mound. Her 2008 accolades include being named the PSAC East Pitcher of the Week on April 20 after going 3-0 with a no-hitter. This is her first appearance on the PSAC Top 10 team.

Gal, a member of the Bloomsburg University men's tennis team, was an finance major and graduated with a GPA of 3.46. This past season Gal repeated as PSAC Athlete of the Year after helping his team win the PSAC Championship and advance to the third round of NCAA Championships. He compiled a mark of 18-3 record at No. 1 singles, including an 11-match winning streak earlier in the season. In doubles competition Gal combined with his partner for a mark of 14-7, highlighted by wins in two of the three matches at NCAA Championships. A two-time spring Top Ten Award winner was a PSAC Men's Individual champion 2006 and was the league's Rookie of the Year in 2005.

Gal was also recently named the national winner of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Arthur Ashe Award. The award goes to a player who has exhibited outstanding sportsmanship and leadership as well as scholastic, extracurricular and tennis achievements.

Gal has been an active participant in the team's many community activities, including working with the town of Bloomsburg park tennis program, participated in the clean up at the Ronald McDonald House in Danville and working with the Special Olympic program. Gal also worked with Habitat for Humanity during the team's trip to the NCAA national championships in Houston, Texas in May.

The Top Ten Awards, selected by the PSAC's sports information directors, recognize student-athletes who distinguish themselves in the classroom, as well as in the arena of competition. The conference designates Top Ten Award winners after each of the sports seasons: fall, winter and spring.

To be a candidate for the Top Ten Awards, a student-athlete must have achieved a minimum of a 3.25 cumulative grade point average and must be a starter or key reserve with legitimate athletic credentials. Only student-athletes from the spring sports season are eligible for the Spring Top Ten Awards. Those sports are: baseball, softball, women's lacrosse, men's and women's outdoor track & field, men's and women's tennis, and golf.

At the end of the academic year, the league announces the Scholar-Athlete Awards, which recognize student-athletes on all PSAC squads with 3.25 cumulative GPAs or better. Additionally, the PSAC recognizes one male and one female as its Pete Nevins Male and Female Scholar-Athletes of the Year.