Kansas City, Mo. Having spent the past five years as a member of Kansas University’s baseball team, senior Nick Faunce knows firsthand the struggles that come when the stresses of Div. I athletics collide with the demands of a full course workload.
Just the other day, in fact, he endured what, over the last half-decade, has become a common 24-hour stretch. After pulling an all-nighter the previous night, he arose Tuesday morning to take an early exam. He then wrote a paper for another class during a short break, attended a three-hour lab, showed up 20 minutes late to the Jayhawks’ doubleheader against visiting Chicago State (he wasn’t playing due to injury) and spent the next 61⁄2 hours at Hoglund Ballpark.
Oh, and afterward, he met up to a birthday party for his girlfriend, where, as he says, “I had to try to be energetic.”
“It’s just a non-stop set of things that arise that you try to take care of and you try to have fun with,” said Faunce, who is a finalist for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, which honors the most outstanding student-athlete in Div. I baseball. “And it’s been difficult, but it’s been fun to try to put all the pieces together, too.”
Which is why Wednesday night proved especially rewarding for the Eugene, Ore. native.
Along with fellow senior Danielle Herrmann, a member of the KU swimming and diving team, Faunce was named the Robert Frederick Senior Scholar Athlete of the Year during the university’s annual Jayhawks Senior and Scholar Athlete banquet at Kansas City’s Marriott Hotel.
In addition to the Scholar Athlete awards, Paul Smyth (baseball), James Holt (football), Val Chapple (softball), Maria Mayrovich (swimming) and Nickesha Anderson (women’s track and field) were also honored as the five Senior Athletes of the Year, while Chapple and Russell Brorsen (football) were named recipients of the Dr. Prentice Gautt Big 12 Graduate Scholarships — given annually to student-athletes planning on graduate study