IUP seniors Brittany Pikur and Sean Strauman have been named the 2008 IUP Scholar-Athletes of the Year and will be honored as the school’s annual All-American and Championships banquet April 17 at the Crimson Event Center.
Pikur is from Gibsonia, Pa., and a graduate of Pine-Richland High School. A four-year member of the IUP soccer team, she has a 3.75 grade point average as a health and physical education major and is currently doing her student teaching in the Fox Chapel school district.
Pikur has been on the Dean’s List all seven semesters and is an IUP Provost Scholar. She is the soccer team’s representative on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, is a member of the IUP Ambassadors and serves as the vice president for the committee for special events and is in Phi Epsilon Kappa, the honors fraternity for physical education majors.
On the soccer field, Pikur earned three berths on the All-PSAC West team, including selections to the first team in 2006 and 2007. She was also on the Daktronics All-Northeast Region team as well as the ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District II third team as a junior in 2006.
Pikur played in 82 games during her career, tied for the IUP career record, and also ranks eighth in goals (25) and seventh in assists (15) and points (65). She helped IUP win the PSAC tournament title in 2004 and back-to-back PSAC West titles in 2005 and 2006. Pikur had a goal and two assists in a 3-1 win over New Haven in 2006, IUP’s first ever NCAA tournament victory.
Strauman is from South Park, Pa., and a graduate of South Park High School. He has a 3.65 grade point average as an accounting major and has earned spots on the Dean’s List in six of seven semesters. Strauman is a four-time All-America in the 800 meters as a member of the IUP track and field team.
Strauman is a two-time recipient of the PSAC Top 10 award for combined athletic and academic excellence and was on the ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District II second team in 2006. He is president of the IUP Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, is a member of a pair of honors fraternities and the National Scholars Honor Society and plays the tuba in the IUP marching band.
Strauman placed in the top eight in the 800 at all four of his NCAA meet appearances (two indoor and two outdoor) and was the national runner-up in in 2007. He qualified for indoor nationals again this season but could not compete due to an injury. Strauman is a six-time PSAC champion in the 800 and has never been defeated by a conference foe. He holds the PSAC indoor record in the event and the conference meet record in both the indoor and outdoor 800.
Serving as the keynote speaker at the banquet will be former IUP defensive back and current Pittsburgh Steelers special teams coach Bob Ligashesky. Ligashesky has coached for 24 years, including five in the NFL. He also coached with the St. Louis Rams and Jacksonville Jaguars and 19 seasons at the college level with five schools, including the University of Pittsburgh.
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