May 10, 2010
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. – Navy senior Mark Van Orden (Morris Plains, N.J.) has been tabbed as the Patriot League Scholar-Athlete-of-the-Year award winner for outdoor men's track and field, the conference office announced Monday afternoon.
Van Orden, already the first men's track athlete to receive the accolade on multiple occasions, becomes the first male student-athlete from Navy and just the 11th in conference history to earn the top academic honor for his respective sport three times.
A five-time Patriot League individual champion and Navy's team captain during the indoor season, Van Orden was recently named one of four Division I track athletes to earn an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.
A 2009 CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Third-Team Academic All-American, he owns a 3.63 grade-point average as an honors English major with a minor in German. Van Orden ranks 84th in Overall Order of Merit in the Class of 2010 (1,068 students) and stands 18th amongst his classmates in Military Order of Merit. He has also been named to the Commandant's List in all seven semesters at the Academy while earning Superintendent's List mention five times.
This spring, Van Orden has produced four individual victories in the hammer throw, including a win against Army as well as the successful defense of his third-consecutive Patriot League title in the event.
His career-best 203' 9" (62.11m) hammer throw effort against the Black Knights on April 10 currently ranks 34th nationally and 18th on the East region's performance lists; putting him in very favorable position (the top-48 in each region qualify) for a berth into the East Preliminary Round of the 2010 NCAA Championships, at North Carolina A&T University on May 27-29.
This Saturday afternoon, Van Orden will aim to for his fourth career All-East laurel when the Navy men's track team competes at the 134th IC4A Championships, held at Princeton University.
The Patriot League annually selects a league scholar-athlete of the year for each individual sport the league sponsors. Nominees for this accolade must be a varsity letterwinner who is at least a sophomore academically with a cumulative grade-point average of 3.20 or above. At the end of the academic year, an overall Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year is determined from a ballot consisting of that year's individual sport award winners.