WSU athletes find success in academics, sports

64 student-athletes named in Pac-12 Academic Honor Roll

Connor+Barison%2C+baseball+player+and+junior+public+relations+major%2C+said+he+schedules+out+his+week+to+make+sure+he+can+balance+academics%2C+baseball+and+his+personal+life.

OLIVER MCKENNA | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE

Connor Barison, baseball player and junior public relations major, said he schedules out his week to make sure he can balance academics, baseball and his personal life.

JENNA GEELAN, Evergreen reporter

It was an unusual season for WSU athletes competing in spring sports, to say the least. Regardless of COVID-19 implications, 64 athletes made the Pac-12 Academic Honor Roll this spring.

Marie Lund-Hansen, fifth-year senior strategic communication major, plays on the women’s golf team. 

Lund-Hansen, who is also an international student from Denmark, found the hardest transition for her was learning to retain information in a different language. She said she was not used to taking notes by hand, so she asked professors if she could take notes via laptop as she could type much faster.

Due to COVID-19, Lund-Hansen had to return home early. At first, she said she did not want to go back, especially because of the time difference and participating in classes online. 

Lund-Hansen and her father set up a practice area for her to play golf in the backyard. In Denmark, she said she has been able to compete in June because golf courses reopened soon after she returned.

“WSU Athletics have done a ton to help us athletes by providing us with resources like tutoring and anything we might need to be successful in the classroom and in competition,” Lund-Hansen said. “We have access to the best trainers, advisors and coaches that go above and beyond for us.”

Connor Barison, baseball player and junior public relations major, said he plans out his day, which helped him balance academics while practicing his sport. 

“The biggest thing is just being able to use my time correctly,” Barison said. “The first thing I do in the mornings is I’ll start planning out my day before workouts. Say I wake up at 5:30 a.m. — I’ll spend 10 minutes writing what I have to do for the day and what homework I need to accomplish.”

Amy Kraemer, track and field athlete and junior kinesiology major, said the academic support provided by WSU coaches and tutors helped ease the stress of the many unknowns that came with COVID-19.

I just really like the friendly family environment at WSU,” she said. “Everyone in general on the Palouse just seems like they all know each other and is a family.”

The coaches also help Kraemer maintain a balance between academics and athletics.

“[The coaches] know that we’re here for school,” Kraemer said. “They remind us that if we don’t have good grades, then we can’t compete.”