Scholar-Athlete Spotlight: Denver

Denver's Taylor Hunter, Sam Corea and Sarah Schmid
Denver's Taylor Hunter, Sam Corea and Sarah Schmid

Each month, The Summit League will feature outstanding student-athlete performances from a selected institution as recognized by its Faculty Athletic Representative. The September installment of The Summit League Scholar-Athlete Spotlight features three student-athletes from Denver. 

Taylor Hunter, Men’s Soccer
Eligibility Year/Hometown: Sr./Aurora, Colo.
Major: Finance
GPA:  3.926

From his freshman season in 2011, a campaign in which he started 10 games, it was apparent that Taylor Hunter would be a solid and reliable contributor to the Pioneers’ soccer fortunes. Hunter has not disappointed as the skillful playmaker was appointed the 2014 team captain of the Denver Pioneers. “Taylor embodies everything we want from a member of the Denver men’s soccer program,” said Pioneers head coach Bobby Muuss. “On the field he is a key to our defense with his athleticism and he is one of the best passers we have on the team. I couldn’t be happier with the way he represents himself, his family and his team.” As captain, his teammates and coaches will look to Hunter to provide leadership. That should not be a difficult role for the speedy midfielder from Grandview High School in Aurora, Colo. Much of his leadership skills come from his competitive nature both on the field and off. Not only was Hunter First Team All-Summit League last season, he was Academic All-Summit League as well. “Academics are just one of the things that Taylor excels in,” Muuss explained. “Like most of our team, Taylor takes great pride in his studies and does a remarkable job of managing his time. Ultimately, Taylor is a competitor and he is going to give his very best on an exam or paper as he will in a conference championship match.” As the Pioneers look to repeat as Summit League champions, there is one guarantee. Hunter will be front and center leading the charge for his team. Well, two guarantees. The finance major will also be shining in the classroom. 

Sam Corea, Women’s Swimming & Diving
Eligibility Year/Hometown: Sr./Vancouver, British Columbia
Major: English
GPA: 3.6857

“Sam is fun to brag about. It’s a pretty amazing list of accomplishments—Top-Eight at NCAAs. Swimmer of the Year in three different conferences. Pan American Games Medalist. School record holder in four individual events and four relays. And then you get to brag about her getting noticed across campus on the academic side of things—being nominated as one-of-ten outstanding students in her entire class. She is a tough competitor, determined, and I think she truly has taken advantage of the whole experience of being a student athlete.”- DU Head Men & Women’s Swim Coach Brian Schrader Sam Corea has been an integral part of the University of Denver’s Swimming program. She has a long list of accomplishments since beginning her freshman season. She swam for Canada at the 2011 Pan American Games, while also being named DU’s Most Valuable Freshman and Most Valuable Player during the 2011-12 season. She set DU records in the 100 butterfly, as well as the 100 and 200 backstroke during the 2012-2013 season and was named WAC Swimmer of the Year. Corea is a competitor throughout the year never letting up; she went to the 2014 NCAA and was the first swimmer in Summit League history to compete in both the 100 and 200 backstroke. Corea is one to watch in the future, being a tough competitor both in the water and classroom.

Sarah Schmid, Volleyball
Eligibility Year/Hometown: Jr./Highlands Ranch, Colo.
Major: Psychology
GPA:  3.95

“Sarah excels on the court, leads by example, puts in the work and mentors our younger players. She’s a star in the classroom as well, currently holding a 3.95 GPA. Sarah is the personification of what it means to be a true student-athlete here at the University of Denver.” — DU Volleyball Head Coach Jesse Mahoney Sarah Schmid enters her junior year for the 2014-15 season, and has made a profound impact so far, after transferring to DU her sophomore year. In 2013, she was named to The Summit League All-League Team, The Summit League All-Tournament Team and was named The Summit League Defensive Player of the Week (9/30/13). Schmid finished the season ranked No. 68 in the nation and No. 6 in the Pioneer Record Books in hitting percentage (.350). At Rutgers, she led her team with 379 kills and a .355 hitting percentage as well as in blocks with 89 (.75 per set). She was named the Big East Freshman of the Week (9/17) and the Penn Invitational MVP. Prior to her collegiate career, Schmid won the bronze medal in the Open Division at the Junior Olympics.

Information written and compiled by the University of Denver.