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May 27, 2024 8:23 am

Five Trojans receive academic all-district

MOUNT OLIVE – The University of Mount Olive placed five student-athletes on the College Sports Communicators Academic All-District Men’s At-Large Team. Honored were senior Pedro Gonzalez, senior Benjamin Jenkins, graduate student Mike Marto, junior Chapman Parker and senior Chance Urban.

The 2023 Academic All-District Men’s At-Large Teams recognize the nation’s top student-athletes for their combined performances in the athletic realm and in the classroom. The CSC Academic All-America program separately recognizes honorees in four divisions — NCAA Division I, NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III and NAIA.

With this honor, all five individuals are eligible for consideration on the CSC Academic All-American Team.

A native of Miami, Fla., Gonzalez had a breakout senior volleyball season and was named to the Conference Carolinas First Team for the first time in his career. He ranked sixth in NCAA Division I and finished second in the league with a .430 hitting percentage. Additionally, Gonzalez tallied 214 kills in 99 sets played, while becoming the second player in program history to reach 100 blocks in a single-season. He recently graduated with his bachelor’s degree in computer information systems while maintaining a 3.72 grade-point average.

In his first season as a starter, Jenkins was an essential player in the UMO field hockey defense after Mount Olive played one of the toughest schedules in NCAA Division II. The Soddy Daisy, Tenn. native was tabbed to the All-Conference Carolinas Second Team as a defender with the Trojans finishing second in the league in scoring defense (10.60). Jenkins ranked fourth on the team with 10 caused turnovers while also collecting 15 ground balls. He recently graduated with his bachelor’s degree in history while holding a 3.88 GPA.

A USILA Blatant Division II Third-Team All-American in field hockey, Marto, from Saddle Brook, N.J., was one of the best face-off specialists in the country this year. He finished second in NCAA Division II with a .691 face-off percentage (239 of 346), while winning at least 15 face-offs in nine contests. Marto also ranked second on the team with 65 ground balls and scored three goals for the Trojans. He graduated with his bachelor’s degree in business administration with a 3.78 GPA and is currently pursuing his MBA at Mount Olive.

A native of Hurley, N.Y., Parker had a breakout junior campaign and was tabbed to the USILA All-Region Team in the midfield after being selected to the Conference Carolinas First Team in field hockey. He finished second on the team with 40 points behind a team-leading 28 goals while adding 12 assists in 15 games. Parker tallied at least one point in every contest and netted three hat tricks this season. He earned all-tournament honors after registering seven goals and two assists during the postseason. Parker is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in justice studies while maintaining a 3.77 GPA.

Urban, from Abingdon, Md., became a three-time recipient of the Conference Carolinas Elite 23 Award, which is modeled after the NCAA Elite 90 Award. He produced 15 points behind 10 goals and five assists while being featured in all 15 contests this season. Additionally, Urban added 12 ground balls and a caused turnover, as the Trojans reached the semifinals of the league field hockey tournament. He recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in accounting while boasting a 3.99 GPA.

To qualify for the academic all-district honors, a student-athlete must be at least a sophomore academically and in athletic eligibility, maintain a cumulative 3.5 GPA or higher, and have played at least 50 percent of the team’s games. Additionally, each institution is capped at five nominees for the men’s at-large team.

— From University of Mount Olive Athletics