McGuine and Massie take home WIAC Scholar-Athlete Awards

McGuine won the women’s swimming and diving scholar-athlete award while Massie won the wrestling scholar-athlete award
McGuine smiles with her teammate in the pool.
Photo by Shane Opatz from UWEC Photo used with persmission
McGuine smiles with her teammate in the pool. Photo by Shane Opatz from UWEC Photo used with persmission

Two Blugolds were recipients of the WIAC conference’s scholar-athlete awards given to student-athletes who meet the requirements for these top awards. 

Sydney McGuine, a fourth-year environmental public health student who competes on the Blugold women’s swimming and diving, was awarded the 2024 WIAC Judy Kruckman Women’s Swimming and Diving Scholar-Athlete Award. 

Tristan Massie, a fourth-year business finance student with a minor in actuarial science who competes on the wrestling team for the Blugolds, was awarded the 2024 WIAC Max Sparger Wrestling Scholar-Athlete Award. 

McGuine and Massie were both key contributors to their team’s success in winning the WIAC Championship for the swimming and diving and wrestling. 

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For Massie’s contributions to the wrestling team, he finished third in the 165-pound weight class. He placed top four in his weight class at three previous conference meets. Not only is this impressive, but Massie maintained a 3.63 GPA throughout the season. 

Massie stands tall after winning a match.
Photo by Shane Opatz from UWEC Photo used with permission

In the pride that he takes for winning this award, Massie gives a lot of credit to his faith, along with his professors, teammates, and coaches. 

“I am proud of God, the creator of the universe and my personal savior, who is really the reason I received this award,” Massie said. “It was his plan for me to win this award and it was him instilling in me [these] values.” 

For McGuine, her individual accomplishments on the Swim and Dive team include her being a four-time WIAC champion, with two titles this year coming in the 50-yard freestyle and 200-yard backstroke. 

Even for someone as successful as a student-athlete as McGuine, she always finds the balance of being both a student and an athlete as something that’s a work in progress. 

“The balance between the pool and the classroom is always a work in progress and as you get older, the easier it becomes to balance,” McGuine said. “From a young age, my parents instilled in me that school comes first, and I chose Division III athletics because you can make school more of a priority.” 

For extra motivation outside of herself, McGuine receives a great deal of encouragement from her teammates not just to perform well in competition, but also to perform at her best in the classroom. 

“Outside of the pool, many of my teammates are involved in a ton of extracurricular activities along with school so we are all very motivated and hard-working,” McGuine said. “When you’re surrounded with teammates like that it makes it easier to keep working hard knowing they are too.” 

Expectations in the classroom for student-athletes like Massie and McGuine aren’t just set by themselves and their teammates, but it’s something that their coaches emphasize to them from day one of practice. 

“Our coach really values and praises academic performance. He always makes it a big deal to be counted in the group to be eligible for Scholar All-American,” Massie said. “At season’s end, we submit our roster of our highest GPAs and see how our team average stacks up against other Division III teams. We really strive to be at the top of the list.” 

Both individuals are heavily involved in extracurricular activities outside of school and sports and are also involved in the community through internships in the community and community service projects. 

McGuine is the senate director for the Student Office of Sustainability here on campus, as well as an intern at the Eau Claire City-County Health Department, amongst other things, hopes that her experiences in the community help give her skills she might not have been able to pick up in the classroom. 

“Being able to talk about what I’ve learned through those organizations in interviews for both my summer internships was really helpful,” McGuine said. “I have also been able to learn so much about communication, leadership and organization being a part of these groups, some things I may not have been able to learn in the classroom.” 

Massie is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and Athletes in Action, along with volunteering with various organizations and internships, believes that his experiences with interning and involvement in student organizations will open up a new world of experiences. 

“Really all of my extracurriculars help me to gain experience with a wide range of individuals, gain tangible employment skills and experience the world in ways I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to,” Massie said. 

Congratulations to McGuine and Massie on their outstanding academic achievements, as well as their achievements in their respective sports!

Mikalofsky can be reached at [email protected].

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