For the fourth straight year a Bronco student-athlete, this year cross country runner Ben Demaree, has received the West Coast Conference Postgraduate scholarship. The 2014 WCC Postgraduate Scholarship recipients were announced at the fifth annual WCC Honors Dinner, held last week in conjunction with the Executive Council and Presidents' Council meetings at Canyons Resort in Park City, Utah. Demaree was named the Male Postgraduate Scholarship winner, while Gonzaga University coxswain Naseeb Bhangal was named the Female Postgraduate Scholarship winner.
Since 2005, six Broncos have received the WCC Post-graduate Scholarship. The list includes Robin Bell (2005), Mitch Henke (2008), Chris Mosier (2011), Tanya Schmitt (2012), Ashley Armstrong (2013) and Demaree (2014). Among the 10 league schools, only Portland matches the Broncos' total over that span.
"It is an honor to receive the WCC Postgraduate Scholarship," said Demaree. "To be honored for my academic achievements by my athletic conference says a lot about the WCC's commitment to helping its competitors succeed academically. I am grateful to attend an institution like Santa Clara, where the athletic department encourages its student-athletes to be leaders in their sport and in their classes. My coaches, Felipe Montoro and Pete Cushman, have also played a big role in shaping me as a student-athlete. They've helped my teammates and I tremendously through their continuous support for our academic work. I will miss being a Santa Clara student-athlete next year when I begin my graduate studies at Berkeley."
Demaree, who carried a 3.88 GPA into his final quarter, is majoring in Bioengineering with a minor in Mechanical Engineering. He will graduate with his classmates on Sat., June 14 where former Bronco and gold medalist Brandi Chastain '91 will serve as the commencement speaker.
Demaree served as captain of his team cross country team, earned WCC Honorable Mention in 2010 and '11, and was named the Santa Clara University Cross Country Newcomer of the Year in 2010.
Led by Demaree, for the ninth straight quarter, the men's cross country team had the highest term GPA in the Winter 2014 quarter. The men's cross country team posted a 3.554 GPA and they also have the highest cumulative GPA at 3.403.
"I am really happy for and proud of Ben," said Montoro. "He more than deserves the award. He is a genuinely nice person who respects everyone and always tries his best at everything. He is a positive, confident individual who took full advantage of every opportunity allotted to him. Thankfully, he will still be in the area and be able to be an active presence as an alumni of the program."
A Santa Clara Provost Scholarship recipient, Demaree was named to the Dean's list three times and was a two-time WCC All-Academic First Team selection as a sophomore and junior. He was also named First Team CoSIDA Academic All-American All-District in both 2013 and '14. The national list will be announced on June 26.
"I'm excited to be named to this selective group of student-athletes," added Demaree. "As someone who takes a lot of pride in their sport but also their class and research work, I'm grateful to see my accomplishments honored in this way. Earning All-American status academically, for me, means just as much as an athletic honor."
A member of the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Society, Demaree was a math and engineering tutor and served as a research assistant in the Santa Clara Department of Bioengineering. A member of the Santa Clara Athletics Bronco Leadership group, Demaree is also member of the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).
To be eligible for a WCC Postgraduate Scholarship, a student-athlete must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.25, demonstrate significant athletic contributions to his or her sport for a minimum of two years, and have a record of participation in campus or community activities. He or she also must submit a personal statement of intention to attend graduate or professional school for which this scholarship would be awarded.