The MIAA and the NCAA give out various awards and recognitions to student-athletes every year.
This year, track and field athlete Levi Wyrick was given the Elite 90 award for the 2021 NCAA Division-II Men’s Outdoor Track and Field National Championships.
The Elite 90 award was founded by the NCAA and is given to student athletes who not only have reached the height of competition at the national level in their sport but who have also thrived academically. The award is given to the student-athlete who has the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA’s championships. To be eligible for the award, student-athletes have to be at least a sophomore and have participated in their sport for at least two years at their school.
Wyrick, a graduate student in educational leadership, has received the Elite 90 award twice in the past.
“…The Elite 90’s awesome,” Wyrick said. “(It) kind of makes your schoolwork pay off almost… because you go down there and you get recognized as a student athlete who has applied himself or herself… (on) the other side of things, the student side of that. So, it’s just a blessing. It just makes you feel like you accomplished something when it comes to school.”
Wyrick was presented with the award on Thursday, May 27, the first day of the outdoor track and field national championships in Allendale Mich.
“My favorite thing about track is it is… (an) individual sport but also a team sport,” Wyrick said. So, you really focus on what you’re doing and then in turn that helps the team… There’s no one to blame other than yourself when something goes wrong and then you’re able to contribute to a team. Track and field at Pitt Is incredible. So, thanks to Coach Jewett, he just recently retired, but he’s built a great culture there. Super blessed to have him and Coach Mantooth, Coach Rutledge, Coach Barrows, and Coach Crow. So, it’s super exciting to be a super track and field athlete at Pitt State.”
Having been part of the Pitt State track and field field program since 2015, Wyrick is a thrower for the Gorillas. Wyrick is an NCAA Division II All-America performer in the hammer throw and a national qualifier in the weight throw. Currently, Wyrick is ranked second all-time in PSU history in the weight throw and the hammer throw.
Additionally, Wyrick placed sixth in the hammer throw at the 2021 NCAA Division II Men’s Outdoor Track and Field National Championships.
“…So, with last season getting canceled, everything was a tentative schedule,” Wyrick said. “We didn’t know what was gonna happen or what was gonna take place, and then as we came into the season it was like, we were already testing COVID and everything like that… You don’t want to test positive because then you have to miss competitions and when we went up to nationals, we were tested all the time. It got super annoying. So, it was like ‘man, (we) don’t want to fail the test and (we) don’t want track meets to get canceled again,’ and we were pretty fortunate to not have any of that happen this year…”