FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU Department of Athletics proudly unveiled its five finalists for the prestigious 2012 Eagle Scholar-Athlete Award on Monday afternoon. The winner will be announced during the athletic department’s annual Senior Send Off and Awards Ceremony on Monday evening (April 23) at the Student Union Ballroom.
The Scholar-Athlete Award is the highest honor FGCU bestows upon a graduating senior student-athlete and recognizes the ability of the winner to combine athletic and academic success (minimum 3.20 grade-point average) with community service. The 2012 Scholar-Athlete Award finalists include men’s soccer player Adam Glick (Leola, Pa./Conestoga Valley HS), swimmer Leah Daniel (Winnipeg, Manitoba/Grant Park), women’s basketball player Courtney Chihil (Tipp City, Ohio/Alter HS), men’s golfer Brandon Pena (Clewiston, Fla./Clewiston HS) and women’s soccer player Gina Petracco (Fort Myers, Fla./Bishop Verot).
The ceremony begins at 6 p.m. with an hour-long Senior Send Off program, which is coordinated by the Eagles Council, recognizing the graduating senior student-athletes. For the second time in program history, varsity letters will be bestowed upon the members of the senior class. The Athletics Awards program will immediately follow and include the presentation of the Community Service Award, Most Inspirational Award, the Carl McAloose Spirit Award, the Team Spirit Award and the Eagle Scholar-Athlete Award. The Most Outstanding Male & Female Athlete finalists will be announced that evening as well, with the eventual winners determined after the 2011-12 seasons are all complete.
A four-year starter at goalkeeper and two-time team captain, Glick is the program’s all-time leader in saves (260), saves per game (4.00), wins (32) and shutouts (19). He also ranks seventh in games played (65), fifth in games started (65) and fourth in minutes played (5946). The Leola, Pa. native was a national finalist for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award and was selected to the media outlet’s All-America first team. In addition to being a 2010 and 2011 Atlantic Sun All-Conference first team selection, the netminder was also the 2010 A-Sun Defensive Player of the Year. Glick, the 2011 recipient of the annual FGCU Duane Swanson Sr. Inspirational Award, helped the Eagles to their first-ever NCAA Tournament berth after securing back-to-back A-Sun regular season titles with a combined 16-1 conference record.
FGCU’s record holder in four individual events (200 free, 500 free, 1,000 free, 1650 free) and the 800 free relay, Daniel also owns the top CCSA time in the 200 free, 500 free, 1000 free and the 1650 free. A two-time CCSA Swimmer of the Week selection and three-time CCSA All-Academic honoree, she has earned 17 CCSA All-Conference honors in four seasons at the CCSA Championship, including 11 first-place finishes. One of the program’s ‘Perfect Seniors’, that helped lead the Green and Blue to four straight CCSA Championships, Daniel won two gold’s in the 2012 CCSA Championship in the 200 free and the 1650 free.
A four-year starter and the fifth player in program history to score 1,000 career points (1,016), Chihil finished her career as FGCU’s leader in career steals (199) and ranks at or near the top five in points (1,016; 5th), three-pointers (122; 6th), rebounds (603; 3rd) and assists (333; 4th). The two-time Capital One Academic All-District first team selection and two-time Division I-AAA Women’s Scholar-Athlete Team choice is also a three-time A-Sun All-Academic honoree and was named to the inaugural A-Sun Academic All-Conference team as a senior. Chihil was a member of three A-Sun regular season championship teams (2008-09, 2010-11, 2011-12) and helped the Eagles verify the conference’s third-ever unbeaten regular season by cruising through the A-Sun Tournament, taking the league’s automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament with a convincing 67-39 win over second-seeded and 20-game winner Stetson.
Graduating third all-time in program history with a 73.3 stroke average, second with 40 par or lower rounds, second in career rounds played (100) and second in career counting scores (90), Pena finished in the top 15 at the A-Sun Championship all four years, highlighted by a second place finish in 2010 that earned him All-Conference status. The Clewiston, Fla. native finished in the top 20 in an astonishing 24 of 34 career tournaments, including 15 top 10s, and is currently ranked in the top 100 individually by Golf Stat.
Finishing her career ranked first in games played (74), third in points (44) and goals (16), and fourth in game-winning goals (5) and assists (12), Petracco earned a spot on the A-Sun All-Conference first team in 2011. The 2011 A-Sun’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year, she was named to the Capitol One Academic All-District first team. Petracco’s eight goals during her senior year were the fourth-best total in FGCU single-season history. The Fort Myers product landed on the A-Sun All-Tournament team after helping FGCU win its first-ever A-Sun tournament title and back-to-back A-Sun regular season championships.