GREENVILLE, Pa.—Gage Gladysz ’20 and Leah Woytek ’20 were announced as Thiel College’s Presidents’ Athletic Conference Scholar-Athletes of the Year recently.
The Seventh Annual PAC Scholar-Athlete of the Year Banquet, scheduled to be held May 12 at The Chadwick in Wexford, Pa., was cancelled on April 3 when the PAC’s Presidents’ Council officially cancelled the 2020 spring varsity sports season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The 2019-20 athletic season has been unlike any experienced in the 65-year history of our storied athletic conference. The Covid-19 pandemic not only took the entire spring 2020 sports season. With it, the public health crisis also stole the plans and dreams of so many of our student-athletes, especially those entering their final seasons of eligibility this past spring. There is little we can do to make up for the losses endured, other than to do what we have always done: to recognize and honor the ‘best of the best’ that our conference has to offer,” PAC Commissioner Joe Onderko said. “That is the purpose of the PAC Scholar-Athlete of the Year program. In a conference that has pursued academic and athletic excellence since 1955, the student-athletes honored here have distinguished themselves above and beyond their competition, both in the classroom as well as the athletic arena. We are humbled by their ability to excel in both worlds, and grateful for the many contributions they have made not only to their institutions, but to our league as well.”
Gladysz was a two-time qualifier for the NCAA Division III National Wrestling Championships (2019, 2017) and won the 197-pound title at the PAC Championships in 2019. He compiled a career record of 70-23. A double major in neuroscience and psychology, Gladysz finished his college career with a 3.87 cumulative grade-point average. The 2016 graduate of Greenville (Greenville, Pa.) High School is member of Thiel College’s first Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology program.
A member of the Dietrich Honors Institute, Gladysz qualified for the Dean's List seven times and was a member of Nu Rho Psi (neuroscience) and Chi Alpha Sigma (student-athletes) honorary societies. Gladysz was a three-time National Wrestling Coaches Association Scholar All-American (2019, 2018, 2017) and qualified for the PAC Spring Academic Honor Roll four times.
Gladysz was named a PAC Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Scholar-Athlete of the Month in February of 2019 and earned Student of the Month honors from Thiel in October of 2019. He volunteered at St. Michael Catholic Parish and the Greenville Lions Club's annual pancake breakfast. He was also a member of Thiel's club rugby team.
A three-time All-PAC selection for Thiel’s softball team, Woytek earned first-team accolades in 2019 and second-team honors in 2018 and 2017. She was named to the PAC All-Tournament Team in 2019 after the Tomcats finished as the runner-up.
Woytek started all 123 games she appeared in during her career and etched her name in Thiel’s record book in multiple categories. She is the program’s career leader in runs scored (111) and walks (47). She ranks second in school history in hits (167), tied for fourth in batting average (.409) and fifth in stolen bases (31).
A five-semester Dean’s List student, Woytek was a two-time College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-District 4 First Team selection (2020, 2019) and twice qualified for the PAC Spring Academic Honor Roll (2020, 2019). She was a conservation biology major is a member of Beta Beta Beta (biology), Psi Chi (psychology) and Chi Alpha Sigma (student-athletes) honorary societies.
A sister of Sigma Kappa sorority, Woytek was involved with Thiel’s Panhellenic Council and served a stint as president. She volunteered at Stray Haven Animal Shelter, St. Paul’s Senior Living Community and the Good Shepherd Center, all of which are located in Greenville. She was a 2016 graduate of Mohawk Area (New Castle, Pa.) Junior-Senior High School and plans to pursue a master’s degree in clinical mental health and work with veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder with an ultimate career goal of one day owning her own practice.
With overwhelming support from the conference’s presidents and athletic administrators, the PAC launched its Scholar-Athlete of the Year Banquet in 2014 as another way to recognize the league’s student-athletes for their athletic achievements, excellence in the classroom and outstanding efforts in and around their campus and home communities.
Portions contributed by the Presidents’ Athletic Conference.
About Thiel College
Thiel College is a private liberal arts institution founded in the Lutheran tradition. Located in Greenville, Pa., the College offers 60 majors and minors, 25 varsity sports, and a 10:1 student-faculty ratio to more than 900 students. A dedicated faculty paired with dynamic research and internship opportunities produce numerous graduate school and job placements. Coeducational from its beginnings, the College remains committed to combining tradition with innovation as it celebrates 150 years.