Molly Haar, a business student and runner for Cal Poly’s cross country and track program, and Jesse Yap, an industrial engineering major and a member of the men’s golf squad, were honored as the Mustangs’ 2016-17 Big West Conference Scholar-Athletes of the Year.
Out of nearly 2,500 student-athletes in the Big West Conference, 16 recipients were selected to represent the eight peer universities; they were presented the awards at a banquet hosted by Wyndham Hotel in Orange County.
“It means the world to me to be recognized for all the dedication I have put into my work both academically and athletically,” said Haar. “But more than anything, it makes me feel incredibly grateful for the all the opportunities and people I have encountered while at Cal Poly that encourage me to grow as a more driven person.”
A four-time Big West All-Academic honoree, Haar helped lead the Mustangs to a conference championship in cross country in 2016 with a fifth-place finish in the 6k. She was the 2015 champion in track for the 5k event. In 2014, she earned the all-conference plaque in the 10k.
Haar has contributed each year to the Mustangs earning national All-Academic status from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. Haar has also volunteered her time as a peer mentor for the Orfalea College of Business, helping her fellow students adjust to college life, overcome personal challenges and adopt strong academic habits.
Haar interned with Adobe Systems as a financial analyst and plans to work in real estate investments after graduation. She is currently studying to take her California Real Estate Exam while also preparing to become a NASM certified personal trainer.
“This is a less conventional plan than most, but I am confident moving forward that the skills and drive I have mastered as a student-athlete will lead me to success in any aspect of life I put my mind and heart into,” Harr said. “Above all else, I will strive to keep balance in my life, focusing on health, happiness, and constant learning.”