Saluting stellar student-athletes

SCOTT UNGER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:33 AM ET

University can be tough. Lectures and labs. Essays and exams. Tack on playing a sport at a very high level and time management is no longer a skill, it's a way of life.

That's why it's so astounding that the University of Manitoba Bisons announced yesterday that 68 of their athletes have earned Academic All-Canadian status, which goes to those athletes with a grade point average of 3.5 or higher on a 4.5 scale.

Leading the stellar student-athletes is women's volleyball player Katie Davidson with - and the following will make almost everyone that took a university course jealous - a perfect GPA of 4.5.

"It's tough and a lot of work," said Davidson, who admits her social life has been left on the sidelines in her three years with the Bisons.

"My friends usually only see me on the weekends, if we're (playing at) home. Usually weeknights I don't go out."

Those time management skills were instilled in Davidson very early in her life.

'JUGGLE YOUR TIME'

"At a young age, I've always done a lot," she said. "If you want to end up being successful, you learn how to juggle your time."

Davidson and men's hockey player Rob Smith, who pulled in a nifty 3.94 GPA of his own, are the Manitoba candidates for the Top 8 Canada West Academic All-Canadians, which will be announced later this month.

Across town, the University of Winnipeg announced that 21 of their athletes made the grade.

A full list of the two schools' Academic All-Canadians appears on page 20.

TRACK ATTACK: The Bisons track team will send 24 athletes to the 2007 Western Canada Summer Games, which begin Friday in Sherwood Park, Alta.

"The fact that these athletes are still training over the summer only helps us get ready for the season," said Bisons track and field head coach Claude Berube, who will head up Canada's track and field team in the 2007 Summer Universiade in Bangkok, Thailand later this month.

As well, five Bison athletes will be competing at the Summer Universiade: women's volleyball player Ashley Voth, men's volleyball Josh Klassen, Toon van Lankvelt and Nathan Toews and women's soccer player Desiree Scott.


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