The Blinn College District has named cheerleader Ashlyn Beard (Port Lavaca) the winner of the 2019 Dr. James H. Atkinson Cup as the Blinn student athlete with the highest cumulative grade point average.
A sophomore, Beard maintained a perfect 4.0 grade point average (GPA) throughout her two years at Blinn.
"I'm really proud of Ashlyn's accomplishments both as a cheerleader and in the classroom," said Michael Brewster, Blinn head coach. "To maintain a perfect 4.0 GPA for two years at Blinn while being an athlete shows that she has a tremendous work ethic."
Beard helped lead the Blinn cheer team to back-to-back national titles.
In 2018, she was part of the Blinn national championship team that made history as the first to win five consecutive national championships in Small Coed Division II. She also was part of the stunt team that placed sixth at the Universal Cheerleaders Association (UCA) National Partner Stunt Girls "4" Championship.
This year, she helped Blinn continue its historic streak by winning its sixth straight national title at the 2019 National Cheer Association & National Dance Association Collegiate Cheer and Dance Championships.
"It's such an honor to be given this award and just goes to show that if you work hard at something and put everything into your goals then you can achieve it," Beard said. "I expect the very best out of myself and strive for perfection, so my goal was to maintain a 4.0 GPA throughout my years at Blinn College. My professors were really good and were able to help me with any questions, so I think they had a lot to do with me being able to have such a high GPA here."
Next year, Beard will continue her business degree and cheer at the University of Louisville.
Sponsored by the Buccaneer Alumni Lettermen Association, the Atkinson Cup was founded in 2000 to honor the sophomore student-athlete with the highest GPA in a minimum of 48 transferable hours. The award is named for former Blinn athletic director and president, the late Dr. James H. Atkinson.
Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 41 NJCAA national championships since 1987.