Miller Earns A-R-C’s Highest Honor as Scholar-Athlete of the Year

Adding to her list of academic and athletic accolades, Loras College cross country and track and field alumna Audrey Miller (’19) was named the 2020 American Rivers Conference (A-R-C) Johanna Olsen Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year on Wednesday, earning the conference’s highest individual honor.

“After a year of turmoil like we’ve never seen, our Scholar-Athletes of the Year process added a welcome sense of normalcy,” said A-R-C Commissioner Chuck Yrigoyen. “The process always produces young men and women whose accomplishments are anything but normal. I would like to thank the faculty athletics representatives and athletics staff members for their work in identifying this year’s impressive class of nominees. One only needed to attend a cross country or track meet to see the joy that running brought to Audrey Miller. Her smile during competition was as bright as the national-caliber resume she put together. Whether it was faith-centered activities or writing a handbook for her student peers, Audrey left Loras as a person who made a difference.”

The highest-placing NCAA Division III National Championship finisher in Duhawk program history after finishing as the runner-up at the 2016 national championship and setting the program record with a time of 20:31 for the 6,000-meter course, Miller, a native of Appleton, Wis., also holds the conference championship 5000-meter record with a time of 17:13.94 set in 2017. She was a six-time All-American across the three sports, including two All-American finishes in her cross country career (2016 and 2019) and was a three-time United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-Academic honoree in cross country (2015, 2016, 2019) and a two-time Academic All-American in track & field (2016, 2017). She was a two-time CoSIDA Third-Team Academic All-American (2016-17, 2019-20) and a two-time First-Team Academic All-District (2016-17, 2019-20) selection. Miller earned A-R-C All-Academic Team honors three times for cross country (2015, 2016, 2019) and twice for track & field (2017, 2019) in addition to the Chi Alpha Sigma National College Athlete Honor Society Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2020. She capped off her Loras career as a Top 30 finalist for the 2020 NCAA Woman of the Year award.

Miller graduated in December of 2019 with a degree in chemistry and minors in biology and Spanish and her academic success and influence spanned beyond the classroom. During the 2018-19 academic year, Miller created and edited the Loras College Survival Guide to the Science Hall, a booklet of everything about the science department for incoming students interested in majoring in a STEM field. She also was a staff writer and editor for the Loras College student newspaper, The Lorian during her four years at Loras. Miller volunteered with the After-School STEM Education Program and Loras College High School Chemistry Olympics, a day-long competition for high school students in various chemistry activities. She now attends the University of California, Davis and is working towards her Ph. D in geochemistry and planetary sciences.

“Audrey is the most thoughtful, considerate, kind and caring person I have ever met,” said cross country head coach Bob Schultz (‘). “She as a true servant’s heart and puts others needs above her own on a daily basis. I have never met anyone that resembles a Christ-like attitude more than Audrey Miller.”

Miller becomes the fourth Loras student-athlete to win the Scholar-Athlete of the Year distinction in the past five years with the most recent honoree being men’s cross country and track and field alumnus Timothy Sevcik ’18 for the 2017-18 academic year.

To be eligible for nomination, a student-athlete shall have graduated or exhausted their athletic eligibility during the academic year for which the award is given. The nominee must have demonstrated a high level of accomplishment and achievement in a varsity sport, have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale), and show evidence of scholarly achievements, community service involvement and leadership. The Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award is named after former Luther College student-athlete Johanna Olson – the inaugural winner of the women’s award – who lost a courageous battle with cancer in January 2013.

You can read more about Miller’s accomplishments here, here, and here.

Audrey also sat in as a guest on the Duhawk Digest podcast to talk about her accolades and Loras experiences.

About Loras College
Founded in 1839, Loras College leverages its historic roots as Iowa’s first college, the second oldest Catholic college west of the Mississippi River and one of the nation’s 10 diocesan colleges to deliver challenging, life-changing experiences as part of its residential, Catholic setting. In 2020, Loras was ranked the 16th Best Regional College in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report and one of America’s Top 200 Most Loved Colleges/Universities by Forbes Magazine for the fourth consecutive year. Loras students ranked No. 2 in the world as part of the global Peeptrade Investment Challenge while a second group ranked No. 4. For the 12th consecutive year, Loras Media Studies student-led television station (LCTV) was named the TV Station of the Year by the Iowa College Media Association (ICMA).