April 12, 2011
IRVING, Texas - Three Baylor competitive cheer student-athletes were named to the inaugural Academic All-Big 12 Conference At-Large Team, as announced by the league office Tuesday. Madeline Felio made the first team, while Taylor Bettis and DeLainey McDermott earned second-team honors.
"For these girls to be able to be so involved in the sport and maintain such high academic standards says a lot," head coach Karry Forsythe said. "Freshmen and transfer students are not eligible, so all three of the student-athletes from our team that were eligible to make the team did. That speaks so highly of these girls. We hope next year to see a big response as more girls become eligible."
Felio, a sophomore base and biology major from Flower Mound, Texas, became the first competitive cheer student-athlete to earn first-team academic all-Big 12 honors at Baylor.
"Madeline is the athlete that any coach would love to have," Forsythe said. "She is one of our strongest overall athletes and to have the academic aspect as well is just incredible. She exudes leadership."
Bettis, a junior base, and McDermott, a senior back spot, were both named to the second team. Bettis is a history/political science major from Austin, Texas and McDermott a health science studies major from McKinney, Texas.
"Taylor is very focused on her grades," Forsythe said. "She is well-rounded, a good athlete and great team member with outstanding academics. DeLainey is the same way, she has great academic success. We're so proud of her and excited for her as she graduates and moves on from Baylor."
The inaugural Academic All-Big 12 Conference At-Large Team consists of 161 student-athletes with 128 first-team honorees and 33 second-team honorees. First-team members have recorded GPAs of 3.20 or better, while second-team members have posted GPAs between 3.00 and 3.19.
To qualify for the Academic All-Big 12 Conference At-Large Team, student-athletes must have participated in 60 percent of their team's scheduled competitions. The at-large team was developed to recognize student-athletes at Big 12 Conference institutions that participate in sports outside of the Big 12 competition, including bowling, competitive cheer, men's gymnastics, equestrian, rifle, rowing and men's and women's skiing.
Baylor competitive cheer wrapped up its season Saturday at the NCATA National Championships in Eugene, Ore. Baylor's 19th varsity sport ended its season by taking home its first national championship in the five-element stunt event.