Cadet-Athlete Development Names Elite Eighteen for Fall
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LEXINGTON, Va. - The Cadet-Athlete Development Office concluded its fall awards by announcing its top honor, the Elite Eighteen, on Friday morning.

The membership of the Elite Eighteen is composed of the cadet-athletes on VMI’s NCAA Athletic Teams who have performed the best academically at the end of a given semester. In order to earn the honor of being in the Elite Eighteen, a cadet-athlete must be a second classmen or higher, must be on their team’s squad list for their sport’s traditional championship season and must have the highest cumulative GPA on their respective team at the end of that semester. A new Elite Eighteen is named every semester. These cadet-athletes will be honored by lunch with the Athletic Director and other dignitaries.

The names of the Elite Eighteen, along with a brief bio on each, are below.

Hayden Alford, R-So. - Football

Served as team's punter and backup quarterback during the 2014 season...averaged 37 yards per punt with a long kick of 69.

Katheryne Austin, Sr. - Women's Swimming

Holds team's top two times in the 200 IM during this past fall season...also has the #2 and #3 times in the 100 breast.

Jeremy Bolden, Sr. – Rifle

Consistently one of VMI’s top shooters in matches, both smallbore and air rifle…has been named Mid-Atlantic Rifle Conference Shooter of the Month on several occasions…named to MAC All-Conference ROTC Smallbore First Team last season.

Christian Burton, Sr. - Basketball

As of Jan. 12, had played in 15 games, including his first two career starts...averaging 2.3 points and 1.5 rebounds per game.

Daniel DeNijs, Jr. - Men's Cross Country/Indoor Track/Outdoor Track

Had a breakthrough cross country season, serving as team's #1-#2 runner...finished third at WCU's home meet and fifth at the UNCG Spartan Invite....was 17th at the SoCon Championships.

Hannah Dickinson, Sr. - Women's Cross Country/Indoor Track/Outdoor Track

Ran the 10th-fastest time in school history at the SoCon XC Championships...finished 28th at the conference meet...was team's #1 runner at every race.

Hardy Hendren, Sr. – Wrestling

Competed in 24 total events during the 2013-14 season including all seven Southern Conference dual matches…won back-to-back duals in the early portion of the season…represented VMI at the Southern Conference championships.

Pat Hine, Jr. – Lacrosse

Played in all 14 games as a sophomore last season…picked up 17 groundballs while forcing nine opponent turnovers…went two-for-three at the Faceoff X (.667) and served just two penalties all season.

Gary LeClair, Sr. - Baseball

Made a diving catch to end VMI's 12-inning win at VCU on April 2...went 2 for 3 with a double and a RBI in Feb. 23 win over Lafayette.

Connor Morgan, Jr. - Men's Swimming and Diving

Has competed in every meet so far this season...swam four events at the season-opening meet at UMBC.

Sarah Putney, Sr. - Women's Soccer

Team captain for the second straight season...had two assists in Oct. 12 win over Chattanooga...scored a goal in Oct. 26's loss to Furman.

Taylor Rafaly, Sr. – Men’s Soccer

Served as a senior co-captain this season…played in 12 games while making two starts in 2014…named to Fall 2014 Academic All-Southern Conference Team at the conclusion of the season.

Elise Reed, Sr. – Women’s Water Polo

Played in all 31 games for the Keydets in 2014 while scoring seven goals … helped VMI to a program record for conference wins and a 4-1 mark at home … serving as the regimental executive officer in the Corps of Cadets in 2014-15.

Kristen Voss, Sr. – Women’s Rifle

Regularly scores for VMI in both smallbore and air rifle … named to All-Mid-Atlantic Rifle Conference team last season with a 531.20 average.