Matsunaga takes PBC Scholar-Athlete of the Year

Published 9:55 am Thursday, May 29, 2014


Recent University of Montevallo graduate and four-year standout runner In-Mi Matsunaga received the highest academic award in the Peach Belt Conference last night at the PBC end of the year award ceremony, being named Peach Belt Conference Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year.



Matsunaga ran on the Montevallo cross country team for all four years and was on the track & field team for three seasons. A native of Enterprise, Ala., she graduated from Montevallo with a degree in accounting and a 3.976 GPA. She won the 2012 PBC Elite 15 Award in women’s cross country and is a three-time PBC Gold Scholar on the Presidential Honor Roll. Matsunaga was selected to attend the NCAA Career in Sports Forum this past year, is a member of the UM SAAC, Chi Alpha Sigma and graduated with the Superior Academic Achievement honor, which is given to the graduate with the highest GPA in the College of Business.

On the trails and track, Matsunaga was named first-team All-Conference in 2011 and second-team in 2013. She holds the second fastest 5k time in school history with a 19:16 at the Royal XC Challenge in 2011. She also holds the fifth fastest 6k time in school history and has seven top-five finishes in her cross country career. In track & field, she finished sixth in the 1500 at the 2014 PBC Championships.

“I’m honored to receive the award on behalf of Montevallo,” Matsunaga wrote in a release. “I’d like to thank the Peach Belt Conference for selecting me for this prestigious honor. It’s incredibly rewarding to be recognized after four years of hard work, but I could not have done it without the support of my coaches, teammates, trainers, and administrators.”

Matsunaga becomes the second UM athlete in the last three years to be named the female Scholar-Athlete of the Year; Anna Garrison received the honor in 2012.