Balboa & Drake Receive B1G Postgraduate Scholarship

May 16, 2013

IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa senior student-athletes Javier Balboa and Sarah Drake were the recipients for the Big Ten Conference’s inaugural postgraduate scholarship, it was announced Thursday by the conference office.

One male and one female student-athlete from each of the 12 Big Ten institutions, who plan to continue their education at a graduate degree program, were awarded a $7,500 scholarship, based primarily on academic achievements.

Drake is the lone field hockey representative among the 24 recipients, while Balboa is one of two men’s gymnastics student-athletes to receive the scholarship.

Balboa earned his first All-America honors in 2013, placing sixth in the all-around and eighth on the still rings at the NCAA Championships. The Monterrey, Mexico, native is Iowa’s first all-around All-American and the first to earn All-America honors in multiple events since Michael Reavis in 2005.

The 2013 Big Ten still rings champion and first team All-Big Ten honoree is a three-time Dean’s List student, a two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree and a two-time UI President’s Committee on Athletics medallion winner. He earned Iowa’s Dick Holzaepfel Most Valuable Gymnast honor in 2012, and graduates this weekend with a bachelor’s degree in economics.

Drake started all 77 games as a Hawkeye, finishing with 50 points and 22 career goals. The Ann Arbor, Mich., native was a two-time Longstreth/NFHCA West Region All-American and was selected to the 2012 Midwest Senior High Performance team. She earned a spot on the USA U21 Junior National and Midwest Junior High Performance teams in 2011, was a three-time selection for the Junior National Team Camp, and was selected for the Midwest High Performance Tournament Team at the USA National Championships in 2010.

The four-year Hawkeye letterwinner is a three-time All-Big Ten and Academic All-Big Ten honoree, a four-time NFHCA National academic squad member, and a 2012 Big Ten Distinguished Scholar award recipient. Drake will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and ethics and public policy in December. She earned the UI’S Robert F. Ray Faculty Representative Award in April, which 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.

Each Big Ten institution developed its own on-campus selection process when awarding the scholarship. Student-athletes must have been in their final season of NCAA eligibility, maintained at least a 3.2 grade-point-average, demonstrated leadership qualities, served as an excellent role model and intended to continue their academic work beyond their baccalaureate degree at a graduate degree program.

The scholarship will be used to pay expenses of the student’s postgraduate education to include such related activities as research and teaching, as well as other expenses such as tuition, fees, room and board, required course-related supplies and books. In order to retain the scholarship, the recipient must be accepted into a full-time graduate degree program within three years from the fall semester after selection.