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Gorillas talk to students; awards roll in

March 20, 2012 12:00AM

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Senior Larissa Richards finishes practice by touching Zac Dickey's helmet, a good luck charm that has accompanied the Women's Basketball team to the Elite 8 in San Antonio, Texas.

The Pittsburg State University Women’s Basketball team talked to middle school students about the importance of studying hard and staying in school in a whirlwind of activities leading up to Tuesday’s Elite-Eight matchup with Shaw University.

The Gorillas visited Nimitz Middle School in San Antonio, Texas, on Monday as part of a community engagement activity. They spoke to the students, signed autographs and even taught the students a Pitt State cheer.

It has been an exciting week for the team and even before the competition began, awards were rolling in.

On Monday, Junior Lisa Elmer was named a recipient of the NCAA Elight 89 award, which is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA’s championships. Elmer, an accounting major, has a 4.0 GPA. Elmer is the second Gorilla to earn an Elite 89 award this school year. Senior running back Eric Love also earned the honor at the 2011 NCAA Division II Football Championship in Florence, Ala.

Also on Monday, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association announced that freshman Lizzy Jeronimus had earned Honorable Mention All-America honors. Jeronimus is only the eighth All-American or Academic All-American in program history and the first since Leslie Dudley earned Honorable Mention Division II Bulletin All-America and third-team GTE Academic All-America honors in 2000.

Finally, on Monday, the Women’s Basketball Association named Head Women’s Basketball Coach Lane Lord the WBCA/Russell Athletic Region 6 Coach of the Year. Lord is one of only three regional coaches of the year to guide his team to the Elite Eight. Lord and the other regional coaches of the year will now advance to the ballot for national coach of the year.

The Gorillas will meet the Shaw University Bears in NCAA Division II Elite Eight competition at 6 p.m. March 20.

For more, visit the PSU Elite-Eight headquarters, www.pittstate.edu/sanantonio.

©2012 Pittsburg State University