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Zelinskas Named 2007 Rock Royer/Mac Rivera Award Winner

May 9, 2007
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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(L-R): Director of Athletics Jeff Barber, Manuel Rivera (brother of Mac Rivera), Arlene Zelinskas and Chancellor Dr. Jerry Falwell

(L-R): Director of Athletics Jeff Barber, Manuel Rivera (brother of Mac Rivera), Arlene Zelinskas and Chancellor Dr. Jerry Falwell

Track and field student-athlete Arlene Zelinskas was honored today at Liberty University's Convocation service, as she was named the 2007 Rock Royer/Mac Rivera Award winner, the University's highest athletics honor. 

In 1975, the Rock Royer/Mac Rivera Award was established to honor the senior student-athlete at Liberty who best exemplifies the standards and lives of both of these exemplary Christian men. Rock Royer was Liberty's first football coach in 1973 and died in an airplane crash while on a recruiting trip. Mac Rivera was a member of Liberty's basketball team from 1972 until 1975, before being tragically killed in a train-related accident while still a student-athlete. 

This award encompasses more than just athletic ability. It recognizes the Liberty senior student-athlete who has maintained an exemplary testimony on the playing field, in the classroom and among the student body throughout his or her time on campus. 

Zelinskas (Sr., Dayton, Ohio) is a two-time Big South Outdoor Track & Field Scholar-Athlete of the Year and will be graduating in May with a 3.96 GPA as a biology major with a minor in chemistry, preparing her for medical school. She is a three-time member of the Big South Presidential Honor Roll, a four-time member of the Big South All-Academic team and has been named to the Dean's List seven-straight semesters. 

A year ago, Zelinskas was included on the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Women's All-Academic Track & Field team. She also earned a spot on the Virginia Sports Information Directors Association (VaSID) All-State All-Academic team in 2006. 

The senior has been an active member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, working in the greater Lynchburg community on various projects with Habitat for Humanity and the YMCA. This summer, the Ohio native will be traveling with Athletes in Action on a sports missions trip to the Czech Republic. 

On the athletic field, Zelinskas recently helped Liberty capture the 2007 Big South Women's Outdoor Track Championship, contributing 38.5 points to the Lady Flames' first conference title since 2003. Individually, she has been named Big South Indoor Track & Field Women's Outstanding Performer of the Year twice and holds numerous school and conference records. She is a 15-time all-conference performer and has won eight Big South event titles during her career. 

Zelinskas is currently pursuing the goal of competing at the NCAA National Championships, as she finishes her career as a Lady Flame. She has thus far recorded a national provisional qualifier in the heptathlon and has met the regional qualifying requirements in the 100-meter hurdles, the high jump and the 4 x 100 relay.