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INDIANAPOLIS -- Loyola University Chicago track and field athlete Erik Hernandez and Valparaiso University basketball player Launa Hochstetler have been named U.S. Army Horizon League Scholar-Athletes of the Month for February, League commissioner Jonathan B. LeCrone announced Friday (March 13).



Hernandez (West Chicago, Ill./West Chicago Community), a senior, enjoyed a stellar month, culminating with a third-place finish in the weight throw (16.39 meters) at the Horizon League Indoor Track and Field Championships Feb. 28. Earlier in the month, he won the shot put and weight throw at the UWM Panther Tune-up Feb. 22 and was second in the weight throw at the Chicagoland Championships Feb. 14. In addition, Hernandez was a two-time U.S. Army Horizon League Scholar-Athlete of the week during February.



In the classroom, Hernandez carries a 3.79 grade-point average as a biology major at Loyola, where he is a member of the school's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. He has been named to the Horizon League Track and Field All-Academic Team and the Academic Honor Roll during his career.



Hochstetler (Berlin, Ohio/Hiland), a senior, averaged 15.4 points, 5.1 assists and 4.9 rebounds per game as Valparaiso went 5-3 during February. She tied her career high with 24 points against Butler University Feb. 21, had 22 points versus Wright State University Feb. 8, and recorded a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds against Chicago State Feb. 17. She shot 50 percent (18-of-36) from three-point range for the month and 77 percent from the free-throw line.



An accounting and finance major, Hochstetler owns a 3.72 grade-point average at Valparaiso and recently was named to the ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-District V Team. She is a three-time member of the Horizon League Academic Honor Roll and has been named to Valpo's Dean's and President's List during her career. Hochstetler also was the U.S. Army Scholar-Athlete of the Month for December.



The Horizon League instituted the U.S. Army Scholar-Athlete of the Month awards as a way to recognize outstanding academic and athletic achievement by its student-athletes. To be eligible for the honor, a student-athlete must maintain a cumulative grade-point average of 3.20 or better (on a 4.00 scale), have completed at least one year at the member institution, passed 24 semester or 36 quarter hours and perform well during the week's competition. Winners are selected by a group of League faculty athletic representatives, from nominations provided by sports information directors.

OTHER MEN'S NOMINEES:
Stephen Grove, Cleveland State (swimming, junior, 3.86, mechanical engineering)
Robo Kreps, UIC (basketball, sophomore, 3.25, exercise and fitness)
Pat Liederbach, Detroit (indoor track and field, sophomore, 3.41, education)
Kyle Stump, Valparaiso (tennis, sophomore, 3.73, mechanical engineering)

OTHER WOMEN'S NOMINEES:
Annie Moore, Detroit (tennis, senior, 3.471, communications studies)
Pam Staton, Loyola (indoor track and field, senior, 3.63, psychology)

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