FIVE W&L ATHLETES EARN VaSID ACADEMIC ALL-STATE HONORS

HARRISONBURG, Va. -- Washington and Lee had five athletes recognized on the 2003 Virginia Sports Information Directors Association (VaSID) Academic All-State Team which was voted on by the members and released on Tuesday afternoon.

Senior football player John Melillo (Forney, Texas/Belle Plaine) and senior tennis player Erika Proko (Charlotte, N.C./Providence Day) were named to the first team, while senior football player Chris Sullivan (San Antonio, Texas/Alamo Heights) was placed on the second team. Sophomore tennis player Lindsay Hagerman (Dallas, Texas/Highland Park) was a third team selection, while junior swimmer Eric Ritter (Birmingham, Ala./Mountain Brook) was an honorable mention selection.

Melillo is an English major with a 4.055 grade-point average (GPA). A three-year starter on the Generals' offensive line, he was named a First Team Verizon Academic All-American this season and is a recipient of the prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.

Proko is a neuroscience major with a 3.68 GPA. A six-time All-American, she helped lead the Generals' women's tennis team to a school-record 24 wins and runner-up finish in the NCAA Tournament this season. An All-American in both singles and doubles this season, Proko will graduate from W&L with a 92-20 mark in singles and 104-27 in doubles. The program's all-time leader in doubles wins, she teamed with Hagerman to post a single-season school-record 30 wins and form the nation's top-ranked doubles duo this year. She reached the semifinals in both singles and doubles at the NCAA Tournament.

A computer science major with a 3.618 GPA, Sullivan was a four-year starter at running back and wide receiver for the Generals. A finalist for the Gagliardi Award given to the top player in Division III, he was named First Team All-ODAC in 2002 after leading the Old Dominion Athletic Conference in rushing (1,123 yds.) and ranking 13th in Division III in all-purpose yards (1,753). Sullivan earned First Team All-ODAC and Third Team AP Little All-America honors in 2001 after leading Division III with 2,024 all-purpose yards. For his career, Sullivan finished as the W&L record-holder in rushing yards (3,140) and all-purpose yards (5,931).

Hagerman, a history major, has a 3.60 GPA. The ITA Co-National Rookie of the Year in 2002, she compiled records of 26-4 in singles and 30-2 in doubles this season. She earned All-American honors for the second and third time after reaching the singles and doubles semifinals in the NCAA Tournament in 2003.

Ritter is a biology and classics major with a 3.842 GPA. A two-time All-American and a three-time NCAA Division III Championships qualifier in the backstroke, he holds school records in the 100 back (51.34) and 200 back (1:51.91) and is part of two school-record holding relay teams (200 & 400 medley relay).

-- GENERALS --