Three Kansas State student-athletes were recognized for their performance in the classroom earlier this week, with all earning Big 12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors in their respective sports.

K-State track and field seniors Brett Neelly and Ranae McKenzie won the award along with rowing senior Molly Ross.

Ross is the third member of the K-State rowing team to earn the award, which is the most of any school. She is pursuing her doctorate degree in nuclear engineering and obtained her bachelor’s in mechanical engineering with a minor in mathematics in 2017. Ross holds a 3.625 GPA.

Ross also has been a first-team Academic All-Big 12 member four seasons in a row.

A rower for the Wildcats, Ross was part of the second varsity four boat that took down Kansas in the Sunflower Showdown, placing sixth at the Big 12 Championship last season.

She also earned two silver medals at the Sunshine State Invitational and Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships earlier this year.

A Tennessee native, Neelly is majoring in mechanical engineering with a 3.723 grade-point average. He’s been an Academic All-Big 12 first-team honoree three times and a member of the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Associates All-Academic (USTFCCCA) team twice.

Neelly left his name all over the K-State record book, setting all-time marks in shot put for indoors and outdoors.

He also became the first Wildcat to break 20 meters in three events. He was a second team All-American and placed 10th in the shot put at the NCAA Indoor Championships and placed eighth in the Outdoor Championships on Friday, becoming a first team All-American in the process.

McKenzie, who is from Manchester, Jamaica, has a 3.495 GPA majoring in nutrition and kinesiology. She’s a three-time Academic All-Big 12 first team honoree and was named to the USTFCCCA All-Academic team the last three seasons.

McKenzie is the back-to-back Big 12 Champion in the women’s 400-meter hurdles and became the first Wildcat to win the Big 12 title in the event. She also is competing in the NCAA Outdoor Championships, where she will look to earn her fourth All-America honor.

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