WALNUT CREEK, Calif. – Golden Bear senior and captain Alicia Asturias is Cal's first ever women's gymnastics Scholar-Athlete of the Year, the Pac-12 office announced Saturday at the Pac-12 Women's Gymnastics Championships. The award, which is presented in each of the 22 sports the conference sponsors, was established to honor Pac-12 student-athletes who excel both academically and competitively.
Aside from being one of Cal's most spirited and consistent gymnasts, Asturias carries a 3.83 grade point average and is set to graduate in May with her psychology degree. Among her many academic accomplishments are 2012 and 2013 Pac-12 All-Academic First Team and NACGC Scholastic All-America honors, and the Golden Bear Award for highest GPA on her team. Asturias is a member of the Dean's List for the College of Letters and Sciences, Pre-Med Honor Society, International Golden Key Honor Society and Psi Chi International Honor Society in Psychology.
Outside of the classroom, the Granite Bay, Calif. product is incredibly passionate about art and service, volunteering to teach art classes catered to the unique mental and physical needs of Alzheimer patients at the Alzheimer Institute of the East Bay. She also facilitated an Art for Social Change class and gallery event for her fellow Cal students.
Asturias is most recognized by her stellar performances as an all-arounder and leader for the Bears. In January, she became the first Cal gymnast since My-Lan Dodd in 2003 to be voted the Pac-12 Gymnast of the Week. This season alone, she is a near-perfect 38-for-40 in hit routines and owns the individual team high in three of the five event categories. She owns 12 event titles in 2014 with 25 top-three finishes. She was voted the team's Most Valuable Player in 2013, as well as All-Pac-12 Second Team.
After graduation, Asturias plans to attend medical school to pursue pediatric orthopedics or psychological research.
In order to be eligible for the Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year award, student-athletes must be a senior (in athletics eligibility) on track to receive a degree, have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher, participate in at least 50 percent of the scheduled contests in the sport and have a minimum of one year in residence at the institution. Each Pac-12 institution may nominate one individual per sport, and the winners are selected by a committee of Pac-12 staff members at the conclusion of each sport's regular season. The athletic accomplishments of the nominees are a consideration in the voting for the award.
A Scholar-Athlete of the Year will be named in each of the Pac-12's 22 sponsored sports: baseball, men's basketball, women's basketball, men's cross country, women's cross country, football, men's golf, women's golf, women's gymnastics, men's rowing, women's rowing, men's soccer, women's soccer, softball, men's swimming & diving, women's swimming & diving, men's tennis, women's tennis, men's track & field, women's track & field, women's volleyball, and wrestling.
This is the Cal women's gymnastics program’s first Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year title since the awards were established during the 2007-08 academic year.
Other nominees for Pac-12 women's gymnastics Scholar-Athlete of the Year included Shana Sangston (Arizona), Shona Morgan (Stanford), Hailee Hansen (Utah) and Aliza Vaccher (Washington).