CMU's Heeke, Lesnar Earn MAC Medal Of Excellence

June 1, 2016 Andy Sneddon, CMUChippewas.com

CLEVELAND – Three Chippewas – two student-athletes and one legend – were honored Wednesday night, and Central Michigan took home a prestigious award for the second-consecutive year during the annual Mid-American Conference Spring Meetings at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel.

CMU student-athletes Breanne Lesnar and Ryan Heeke received the prestigious Medal of Excellence Award from the MAC, and Marcy Weston, one of the giants in CMU history, was inducted into the MAC Hall of Fame.

Central Michigan also received the Institutional Sportsmanship Award, which goes to the university that exemplifies the core values of the conference mission statement. Each institution received a vote.

The Medal of Excellence is presented annually to one male and one female student-athlete from each of the MAC’s 12 member institutions.

Eligible student-athletes must have achieved a minimum 3.50 grade-point average, have excelled in the athletic arena, and exhibited excellence, leadership and service. Selection of the recipients was made by each MAC institution.

Lesnar, who participated in cross country and track & field at CMU, will graduate in August with a bachelor of science degree with a community health education major and Spanish minor. She carries a 4.0 grade point average.

Heeke holds two bachelor’s degrees from CMU, a bachelor of science in business administration, which he earned in May, 2015; and a bachelor of science with a math major, which he received in May, 2016. He carries a 3.78 grade point average.

“The Medal of Excellence Award is a reinforcement of the core values that we as a conference and each of our member institutions all possess with excellence in academics, athletics, leadership and service,” MAC Commissioner, Jon A. Steinbrecher said. “We congratulate all of our Medal of Excellence Award winners.”

Weston became part of the fabric of Central Michigan and its athletics program during her 42 years at the university, serving first as a coach and later as an administrator before her retirement in 2015.

Her influence reached far beyond Mount Pleasant and the MAC to the national level, where she was recognized a top basketball official and a pioneer in advancing the role of women in collegiate athletic administration.

In 2004, she was inducted into the CMU Athletics Hall of Fame, which now bears her name. She worked as a basketball game official for nearly two decades and in 1991 was recognized by the NCAA as one of the nine major contributors to the first decade of NCAA women’s basketball.

She was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2000, became the first woman to receive the National Association of Sport Officials Gold Whistle Award in 2008, and in 2012 earned the Michigan Distinguished Women in Higher Education Leadership Award.

Weston joins some of the all-time greats in CMU athletics history in the MAC Hall of Fame, including Herb Deromedi, Dave Keilitz and Dan Roundfield.

Weston is part of a four-member class that includes former Miami (Ohio) swimmer Patricia Bucher, former Western Michigan volleyball player Sarah Powers (Barnhard), and the late Mike Jones, former Eastern Michigan swimming and diving coach.
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