November Printing Concepts Scholar-Athlete of the Month | Tessa Pitcovich, Ohio Northern
-By Wes Mayberry
ADA — Ohio Northern fifth-year senior Tessa Pitcovich (Stow/Stow-Munroe Falls) has been named the Ohio Athletic Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Month for November.
Pitcovich is now a two-time OAC Scholar-Athlete of the Month, as she earned the accolade during her senior season this past June.
“Tessa is the epitome of ONU cross country and track and field. She’ll do whatever is asked of her and is extremely encouraging and supportive of her teammates,” ONU cross country and track and field head coach Jason Maus said. “She is the type of person that wants all of her teammates to be successful, no matter the talent level. She has the same type of commitment level and expectations as a student and wants to be the best. She is a top-notch young woman who is a great representation of our program and the university as a whole.”
A member of ONU’s cross country and track and field teams, Pitcovich exemplifies what it means to be a student-athlete, shining both in the classroom and in competition.
Most recently, Pitcovich qualified for the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships for the third time in her career en route to earning the NCAA’s Elite 90 Award for the second straight year.
The prestigious Elite 90 Award is given to the student-athlete with the highest GPA competing at each of the 90 NCAA Championships events each year. Pitcovich is just the second student-athlete in ONU history to win the award twice.
Pitcovich capped her 2022 season by placing 81st out of 293 runners with a time of 23:14 on the 6,000-meter course at the NCAA Championships at Forest Akers Golf Course in East Lansing, Mich. She faced difficult racing conditions, including a snow-covered course and wind gusts of more than 20 miles per hour that resulted in wind chills in the single digits.
In her two previous appearances in the NCAA Championships, Pitcovich placed 77th as a sophomore in 2019 and 139th as a junior in 2021.
Named the OAC Runner of the Week on Oct. 3, Pitcovich went on to earn All-OAC and All-Great Lakes Region honors this season. She posted a second-place finish at the Ohio Athletic Conference Championships and was fifth at the Great Lakes Regional Championships.
In five years at ONU, Pitcovich has competed in 28 events, finishing first among ONU runners in 21 of them. She is a four-time All-OAC and three-time All-Great Lakes Region honoree and was the NCAA Division III All-Ohio Female Runner of the Year in 2021.
Pitcovich owns the third-fastest time in school history for 6,000 meters at 21:22 and ranks 10th all-time with her career-best 18:45 for 5,000 meters.
Pitcovich has also shined as a distance runner on the ONU track and field team. She has earned All-OAC status in track and field five times in her career and closed last season by qualifying for the NCAA Division III Outdoor Championships where she placed 17th in the 10,000 meters. She ranks in the top four in school history with her best times in five events, including the outdoor 5,000 meters (2nd, 17:37.72), 10,000 meters (2nd, 36:08.18) and 3,000 meters (4th, 10:40.10) and indoor 3,000 meters (3rd, 10:14.14) and 5,000 meters (3rd, 17:36.37).
Now in ONU’s Master of Science in Accounting program, Pitcovich earned her undergraduate degree in accounting with minors in business analytics, psychology and entrepreneurship. She was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District 7 First Team and All-America Second Team for cross country and track and field last season. She is a three-time Academic All-OAC honoree and earned USTFCCCA All-Academic recognition in 2021. She has been on the Dean's List for every semester of her college career and is a Mathile Scholarship recipient.
“I originally came to ONU to try to excel in my academics and athletics, and I feel like I have been able to do both,” Pitcovich said. “ONU has given me the resources, facilities and mentors to grow as a student, athlete and person.”
On campus, Pitcovich has served in such leadership posts as the president of Beta Alpha Psi, treasurer of Women in Business and CFO for Polar Merchandise, LLC. She has also been a member of Chi Alpha Sigma, Beta Gamma Sigma and the Dean's Advisory Council.
Sponsored by Printing Concepts, the OAC Scholar-Athlete of the Month award honors an exceptional student-athlete on a monthly basis. Student-athletes eligible to receive the award include juniors and seniors competing in a sport that is in-season and who display sportsmanlike conduct and have a grade point average of at least 3.0.