Bucknell Lands Three on Academic All-District At-Large Teams

Jillian O'Mara

May 18, 2012

  • Academic At-Large All-District 2 (Women)
  • Academic At-Large All-District 2 (Men)
  • LEWISBURG, Pa. - Three Bucknell student-athletes were named to the Capital One Academic All-District 2 At-Large Teams this week. Jillian O'Mara (Bainbridge Island, Wash./Bainbridge), a senior on the women's rowing team, Mike Huffner (Elmira, N.Y./Notre Dame), a junior defender on the men's lacrosse team, and junior J.J. Szmadzinski (Northville, Mich./Detroit Catholic Central), the 2012 Patriot League Men's Golf Scholar-Athlete of the Year, were all first-team selections and will advance on to the national ballot. O'Mara was honored for a second straight year after being a second-team choice in 2011. Huffner and Szmadzinski earned Academic All-District honors for the first time.

    In order to be eligible for Academic All-District and Academic All-America recognition, a student-athlete must be at least a sophomore, maintain a minimum 3.30 cumulative GPA and be a starter or key reserve on his or her team. Bucknell has had 121 national Academic All-Americans since 1970, the fifth-highest total among all Division I institutions. O'Mara, Huffner and Szmadzinski are now eligible for Academic All-America honors, which will be announced June 7.

    O'Mara is Bucknell's first two-time Academic All-District selection from the women's rowing program. She is one of four rowers in Patriot League history to be a member of the league's Boat of the Year four times. O'Mara rowed in the seven seat of the varsity eight at this year's Patriot League Championship, an event the Bison captured for the seventh consecutive year. She is a two-time Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association National Scholar-Athlete, a two-time member of the Academic All-Patriot League Team and is a three-time member of the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll.

    A three-time First Team All-Patriot League selection, O'Mara won the Alvin F. Jackson Jr. Memorial Scholar-Athlete Award at this year's Bison Club Senior Recognition Dinner. She carries a 3.92 cumulative grade-point average, including a 4.0 in the recently completed semester, while majoring in biology and French and Francophone studies with a minor in peace studies. Additionally, O'Mara is a seven-time Dean's List member, a Mortar Board Academic Society member and the community service chair of Kappa Alpha Theta.

    Mike Huffner

    Huffner is the first Bison men's lacrosse player to earn Academic All-District honors since 2007. He earned his second consecutive First Team All-Patriot League honor this spring despite missing the fall season. Typically marking the opposition's best attackman, Huffner led the Bison with 27 caused turnovers and had 31 ground balls for a defense that allowed only 8.8 goals per game during the regular season.

    Huffner has medical school aspirations and carries a 3.53 cumulative GPA as a biology major. He has volunteered and interned at the Arnot Ogden Medical Center in his hometown of Elmira, and this summer will be conducting research with a Bucknell professor while shadowing doctors at Evangelical Community Hospital in Lewisburg. Huffner is a member of Colleges Against Cancer, and he serves as president of Bison Pals, a mentor program for adults with special needs.

    J.J. Szmadzinski

    Szmadzinski posted the team's best scoring average this past season while carrying a 3.88 GPA in Bucknell's challenging management program. He logged a 76.3 stroke average in 2011-12, shooting 79-75-74 to finish T-19th at the Patriot League Championship. Szmadzinski's best rounds of the year were an even-par 70 at the Bucknell Invitational and an even-par 72 at the Joe Agee William & Mary Invitational.

    Away from the golf course, Szmadzinski has been a member of the Bucknell Dean's List every semester, an annual member of the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll and a member of the 2012 Academic All-Patriot League Team for men's golf.

    Szmadzinski recently accepted an internship for this summer in the Private Banking division at J.P. Morgan. Last summer he interned at Pikstein & Metzger PLLC in Michigan. On campus, Szmadzinski serves as treasurer of the Bucknell Interfraternity Council, managing an $80,000 budget. In that role, he has organized several campus-wide events that raised funds for alcohol awareness programming.

    This is the 10th consecutive year at least two Bison have been voted to the At-Large Academic All-District Teams. The At-Large category includes the following sports: women's bowling, women's rowing, men's and women's fencing, field hockey, men's and women's golf, men's and women's gymnastics, men's and women's ice hockey, men's and women's lacrosse, men's and women's rifle, men's and women's skiing, men's and women's swimming and diving, men's and women's tennis, men's volleyball, men's and women's water polo and wrestling.

    Bucknell has now had 12 Academic All-District selections in 2011-12 with track & field honorees still to be announced in the upcoming weeks.