SAN MARCOS, TEXAS (July 15, 2010) Nine Texas State student-athletes have been named 2010 Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sports Scholars, including four First-Team selections. The First-Team selections are football’s Travis Houston and Alvaro Garcia, women’s tennis player Andrea Giraldo and track and field’s Heather Martinez.
Houston started all 11 games and served as a team captain for Texas State's football team that finished third in the Southland Conference with a 7-4 overall record. He owns a 3.59 cumulative GPA with a double major in accounting and computer information systems at Texas State. He ranked fourth on the team with 53 tackles and ranked 15th among Southland Conference leaders 8.5 tackles for losses of 20 yards.
Houston also was named an Academic All-Star by the FCS Athletic Directors Association for the second straight year, selected to the Southland Conference All-Academic Team for the third consecutive year and a four-time member of the SLC Commissioner's Honor Roll. He also received Texas State's Oak Farms Dairy Academic Award in the last three years and was a "Cream of the Crop" recipient in 2007.
Garcia was named a First-Team selection after earning Second-Team honors last year. He also is a member of the Southland Conference Fall Honor Roll for the second straight year after maintaining a 3.30 cumulative GPA in criminal justice. He caught 22 passes for 305 yards and one touchdown while playing in 11 games. He also caught the longest pass of the season by a Bobcat with a 71- yard reception against Angelo State.
Giraldo earned First-Team honors after she was a Second-Team selection in 2008 and 2009. She maintained 3.55 GPA in business management and finance in addition to serving as Texas State’s top singles player during each of the last three seasons. Giraldo posted a 10-6 record in singles play, including a 7-4 mark against Southland Conference opponents in 2010. She has been named to the Dean’s List four times and a member of the Southland Conference Commissioner’s Honor Roll in 2007, 2008 and 2010.
Heather Martinez is a two-time Arthur Ashe First-Team selection after maintaining a 3.93 cumulative grade point average. She competed in two cross country meets for the Bobcats in 2009 and has been named to the Dean’s List every semester of enrollment at Texas State. She earned Oak Farms Dairy and Texas State’s “Cream of the Crop” award from 2007-09 and is a four-time member of the Southland Conference Commissioner’s Honor Roll.
The Second-Team selections were women’s basketball player Verinus Kalu and women’s tennis player Amanda Alvarado. Kalu maintained a 3.51 GPA to earn Second-Team honors. She played in 20 games and averaged four points and three rebounds. She also was named to the 2010 SLC Commissioner’s Honor Roll and received an Oak Farms Dairy and Texas State Academic award in 2010.
Alvarado was named a Second-Team selection after maintaining a 3.58 GPA during the last two years. She was chosen an Honorable Mention selection in 2009. She has been named to SLC Commissioner’s Honor Roll twice.
Football’s Darius Bolden and softball’s Kristina Tello were Third-Team selections.
Bolden maintained a cumulative 3.23 GPA while majoring in industrial engineering. He is a two-time member of the SLC Commissioner’s Honor Roll and caught 156 passes for 204 yards and a touchdown in 2009. He also earned an Oak Farms Dairy and Texas State academic award.
Tello maintained a 3.24 cumulative GPA while earning a bachelor’s degree in business management. She was the Bobcats' leadoff hitter, and led the 2010 team in at-bats and triples. Tello finished her career ranked fourth in runs scored with 103, ninth in career triples with six, and recorded 69 career walks for sixth all-time. Tello was named to the Dean’s List once, an Oak Farms winner from 2006-09, an SLC Commissioner’s Honor Roll recipient from 2007-09, and earned the 2007-08 SLC Softball All-Academic Second Team accolades.
Track and Field’s Jiovanna Martinez maintained a 3.20 GPA in nutrition and foods, and was named an Honorable Mention Arthur Ashe winner for the second straight year. She was named to the Dean’s List twice, and was an Oak Farms Dairy Award winner from 2006-09 and a SLC Commissioner’s Honor Roll recipient from 2007-09. A thrower for Texas State’s track and field team, Martinez placed ninth in the weight throw and 11th in the shot put at SLC Indoor Championships.
The Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar awards were created to honor undergraduate students of color who have made achieving both academically and athletically a winning combination. To be included, student-athletes have to compete in an intercollegiate sport, maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.2, and be active on their campuses or in their communities.