This release is courtesy of MIT Sports Information.
Kalamazoo, Mich. (May 23) - MIT senior Alex Cauneac (Severna Park, Md.) was announced as the winner of one of the top NCAA academic honors on Thursday evening at the 2019 Men's Tennis National Championship banquet in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Cauneac was presented with the NCAA Elite 90 Award, which recognizes the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average competing at the finals site of each of the NCAA's 90 championships.
Cauneac, a mathematics with computer science major, has excelled in both his academic studies and in athletic competition in his four years with the MIT men's tennis program. He has a perfect 4.0 GPA and has been honored as a four-time New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) All-Conference selection, a three-time NEWMAC Academic All-Conference selection, a two-time Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Scholar-Athlete and was the 2016 NEWMAC Men's Tennis Rookie and Athlete of the Year.
Cauneac is the fourth student-athlete at MIT to win the Elite 90 award this academic year and 17th overall in Institute history. He is also the first student-athlete in MIT men's tennis program history to claim the honor.
Cauneac and classmate Tyler Barr (Chagrin Falls, Ohio) earned a spot in the 2019 NCAA Division III Men's Tennis Doubles Championship Tournament for the first time in their careers and will open competition in the 16-team tournament on Friday, May 24. The duo from MIT are the first doubles team since the 2006 season to qualify for the NCAA Doubles Championship. Earlier this season, Cauneac helped the Engineers win their 21st straight NEWMAC Championship and guided MIT to its third NCAA regional final appearance in four seasons.
The Elite 90, an award founded by the NCAA, recognizes the true essence of the student-athlete by honoring the individual who has reached the pinnacle of competition at the national championship level in his or her sport, while also achieving the highest academic standard among his or her peers. The Elite 90 is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA's championships.
Eligible student-athletes are sophomores or above who have participated in their sport for at least two years with their school. They must be an active member of the team, traveling and a designated member of the squad size at the championship. All ties are broken by the number of credits completed.