The National Collegiate Athletic Association has announced that Luther College seniors Clare Slagel, swimming, and Justin Kreiter, wrestling, have each been awarded a 2017 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.
The NCAA awards a one-time, non-renewable educational grant of $7,500 to 58 student-athletes—29 men and 29 women—who competed in winter sports.
To qualify for an NCAA postgraduate scholarship, a student-athlete must be nominated by his or her athletic department, have an overall grade point average of 3.2 (on a 4.0 scale) or its equivalent, and must have performed with distinction as a member of the varsity team in the sport in which the student-athlete was nominated. The student-athlete must have behaved, both on and off the field, in a manner that has brought credit to the student-athlete, the institution and intercollegiate athletics. The student-athlete also must intend to continue academic work beyond the baccalaureate degree as a full-time or part-time graduate student. The NCAA awards up to 174 postgraduate scholarships annually, 87 for men and 87 for women.
Slagel, an environmental studies major, graduated summa cum laude in May 2016 with a 3.93 grade point average. She recently finished her first year at Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine.
During her swimming career, Slagel was an eight-time NCAA III All-American who captured national titles in the 200 backstroke (2014) and 100 backstroke (2015). Her NCAA resume also included one second-place finish and three third-place finishes at the national championships. She was the Liberal Arts Championships (the equivalent of the final national qualifying meet of the year) Swimmer of the Meet all four years of her collegiate career compiling 27 titles.
Academically, Slagel was a three-time Iowa Conference winter sports All-Academic Team member (3.50 GPA or higher on a 4.0 scale); a three-time College Swimming & Diving Coaches Association of America Scholar All-American; three-time member of the College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-America® Women's At-Large Team; a National Delta Epsilon Sigma Award Recipient (one of two nationally to receive this level of award); and was also named the co-winner of the Johanna Olson Iowa Conference Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year for the 2015-16 academic year.
Slagel, a 2012 graduate of Dubuque Hempstead High School, is the daughter of Daniel and Karen Slagel of Dubuque, Iowa.
Kreiter, a physical education major graduated magna cum laude in May with a 3.77 grade point average. He is working towards a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from St. Ambrose University.
Kreiter completed his wrestling career as a two-time NCAA III All-American. During the 2016-17 campaign, he posted a record of 27-3 and finished as the national runner-up at the 184 weight class at the NCAA III National Tournament. As a junior, he placed fourth at the national tournament in this same weight category. He was a two-time Central Regional champion and finished with a career total 95-35.
Academically, Kreiter was a three-time Iowa Conference winter sports All-Academic Team member (3.50 GPA or higher on a 4.0 scale) and a two-time National Wrestling Coaches Association Scholar All-American. Earlier this year he was also named to the College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-America® Men's At-Large Team.
Kreiter, a 2013 graduate of North Scott High School, is the son of Eugene and Nancy Kreiter of Davenport, Iowa.
“Clare and Justin are students who exemplify the best of the student athlete experience,” commented Rob Larson, Luther vice president and faculty athletic representative. “They were exceptional academically, earned extraordinary success athletically, and during their time at Luther made significant commitments in service and leadership roles. Luther is fortunate to have these and so many other amazing young student athletes.”
Luther's long tradition of NCAA postgraduate scholars dates back to 1966. With the addition of Slagel and Kreiter to its list, Luther has had 42 postgraduate scholars, including 17 in the past 13 years.