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Nov. 18, 2011
LOUISVILLE, KY. - North Carolina sophomore Marta Malmberg, a psychology major from Marathon, N.Y., was announced Thursday as the winner of the 2011 Elite 89 Award for Division I field hockey. She was recognized as having the highest cumulative grade point average of any student-athlete participating at the final four this weekend.
Malmberg is a starting defender for top-ranked UNC, which will face Connecticut Friday at 2 p.m. in the first of two NCAA semifinal games. A win would put the Tar Heels in Sunday's championship game, in which they would be playing for the program's seventh NCAA crown.
The Elite 89 program, in its third season, was founded by the NCAA to recognize "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 award is given at each championship site to the student-athlete competing there who has the highest GPA.
Malmberg is the first Tar Heel field hockey player to win the award, and the fourth UNC student-athlete overall. Bill Dworsky was the men's soccer winner in 2009, Kristi Eveland won for women's soccer the same year, and Meredith Newton was the women's lacrosse winner in 2010.