Hard work in the classroom continues to pay off for Blue Springs graduate Alex Harkins.

Hard work in the classroom continues to pay off for Blue Springs graduate Alex Harkins.

The Park senior was one of 306 women’s cross country student-athletes from across the country to be honored Friday as a 2010 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete. In order to be nominated, a student-athlete must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale and must have achieved a junior academic status to qualify for this honor.

Harkins, who was also named a scholar-athlete last season for her work in the classroom, will compete with the rest of her team in the 2010 NAIA women’s cross country national championship meet Saturday at the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site in Fort Vancouver, Wash.

NASH SHINES DOWN SOUTH: Coaches in the Southern States Athletic Conference found out something this year area volleyball fans should have already known, Truman graduate Taryn Nash can play volleyball.

The freshman setter for Spring Hill College in Mobile, Ala. was named first-team All-Conference, first-team All West Division, and was also named to the All-Freshmen and Musco Lighting Champion of Character Teams.

Nash ranked first in the SSAC in assists per set with an average of 10.08 and a season’s total of 1,028.

Nash helped the Badgers (27-5, 7-1 SSAC West) make a 19-win improvement from last season and finished this year as the SSAC West Division regular season champion and the runner-ups at the 2010 SSAC post-season volleyball tournament.

CREASON FIRST-TEAM ALL-MIAA: It didn’t take long for Ashley Creason to make her mark at the Division II level.

The 2010 Lee’s Summit North graduate earned first-team All-MIAA status this season after scoring a team high-eight goals for Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar.

Creason’s eight goals tied for the conference lead.

VANDERPOOL HONORABLE MENTION: Lee’s Summit West’s Paige Vanderpool, a freshman volleyball player at Emporia (Kan.) State University, enjoyed a solid first season for the Hornets.

Vanderpool, a freshman outside hitter, was named honorable mention All-MIAA for her play this season.