April 27, 2012
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa senior student-athletes Erik Sowinski and Becca Spengler recently received the Robert F. Ray Faculty Representative Award at the 2012 Finkbine Dinner. The award, which is named after a former dean and longtime UI faculty representative to the Big Ten Conference, is annually presented by the UI President’s Committee on Athletics (PCA) to a male and female student athlete who demonstrates outstanding academic and athletic excellence and leadership.
Sowinski is a middle distance runner on the Hawkeye men’s track and field team who has a 3.43 grade-point average with an integrative physiology major and a pharmacy interest. A four-time All-American from Waukesha, Wis., Sowinski set school records in the 600 meters (1:16.91) and 800 meters (1:47.62) during the 2012 indoor track season, and recently broke the 50-year-old outdoor 800-meter record of 1:47.64 with a personal-best 1:47.02. He also ran on four relays that set school records in the last two years. The 2012 Big Ten indoor 800-meter champion, Sowinski is a two-time academic all-Big Ten honoree and a three-time PCA academic award winner. He is a member of the Iowa Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (ISAAC), where he serves as the Vice Chair on the Executive Committee and the student-athlete representative to the PCA.
Spengler is a midfielder on the Iowa field hockey team who has a 3.61 grade-point average with a psychology major. The Lititz, Pa., native appeared in 67 career games for the Hawkeyes and made 56 starts, while tallying nine career goals and 22 points. Spengler was a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, earned three PCA academic awards and was a four-time NFHCA National Academic Squad member. A three-time team captain, she was named Iowa’s field hockey Big Ten Sportsmanship Award honoree each of the last three years. The former Warwick High School standout is an ISAAC representative and serves as Secretary on the Executive Committee. Spengler helped the Hawkeyes win their third-straight Big Ten Tournament title and reach the NCAA Final Four as a freshman in 2008. She also helped lead Iowa to the NCAA Tournament as a senior in 2011.