Anthony Cognasi and Danisha Phipps are the latest New Mexico Highlands University student-athletes to have their names adorning the east wall at the Wilson Complex.
Cognasi and Phipps are the school’s choices for the 2012-13 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Scholar-Athletes, the Colorado Springs-based league office reported this past Thursday.
“Administrators from each of the 14 RMAC institutions chose a male and female student-athlete as their honorees,” noted the RMAC’s news release. “To be eligible for the RMAC Scholar-Athlete award, individuals must compete in one of the conference sponsored championship sports; carry at least a 3.3 grade point average; be a starter or reserve on their respective team; be of good character and must have participated at the active member institution for two or more seasons. True freshmen and first year transfers are not eligible for these awards.”
Cognasi, a senior from Amarillo, Texas, has maintained a 3.81 GPA — with a 4.0 his last year — while majoring in biology and minoring in chemistry. He is a four-year starter for the Cowboy football team, having played at both guard and center. The Cowboys finished 8-3 this past fall.
Phipps, a junior from St. Mary’s, Jamaica, has earned a 3.8 GPA in business management. A standout for the Highlands women’s track and field program, she won conference championships in the indoor pentathlon and outdoor heptathlon this past season and qualified for the NCAA Division II national championships.
Earlier this spring, NMHU junior Alyssa Lopez was named the RMAC Academic Athlete of the Year in women’s basketball. In addition to the RMAC Scholar-Athletes for each school and the conference all-academic lists, the league recognizes premier academic performance for each of its 21 sanctioned sports, and Lopez won for women’s hoops.