June 19, 2014
FRISCO – For the second consecutive season, a Lamar runner has claimed Student-Athlete of the Year for both the indoor and outdoor track and field season as the Southland Conference bestowed the honor upon Sam Stabler on Thursday.
Stabler, a junior out of Queniborough, England, is the fifth-ever Southland athlete to claim both the indoor and outdoor student-athlete award in the same season. It’s the sixth consecutive time that an LU athlete has taken home the track honors as Joe Wade swept the accolades last year, and his twin, Tom Wade, earned the outdoor award in 2012. Matt Johnsen, winner of last fall’s cross country student-athlete award, took home the same for the 2012 indoor season.
Stabler, who ultimately ended the year with four Southland individual championships and one relay crown, carried over his dominance from the indoor season to post top conference marks in both the 1,500 and 5,000 meter runs en route to winning league titles in each. He also participated in the NCAA West Preliminary in Fayetteville, Ark.
“I’ve been lucky to have a great year, and I peaked at both championships, which I think is a testament to [LU distance coach] Darren [Gauson] as a coach,” Stabler said. “I was healthy for nearly the whole season, and I’m very pleased to be part of a great group at Lamar. I’m looking forward to getting back for cross country season in the fall.”
Stabler, who also carries a 3.82 grade point average in chemical engineering, was an All-Southland honoree last fall, helping the Cardinal men claim a seventh cross country conference championship in eight years.
Two Lady Cards also took home all-academic honors as seniors Nora-Beth Saunders and Saschelle Slaughter grabbed spots on the women’s team. Saunders, a fifth-year senior out of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, earned the Southland’s F.L. McDonald postgraduate scholarship after posting a perfect 4.0 GPA and earning a degree in chemical engineering. Slaughter, who was part of LU’s runner-up 4x400 relay team, carried a 3.44 GPA and graduated with a degree in communications.