Out of the 194 Division I women’s swimming and diving programs in the country, the Illinois State women’s team placed in the top five in terms of grade-point average for the Spring 2014
The team average was 3.59, which was good enough to be recognized as a 2014 College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) Spring Scholar All-American Team, which was announced on Friday.
Illinois State was one of 151 Division I teams to qualify for the prestigious award, and finished only behind Kentucky, Arkansas Little-Rock, Alabama and New Mexico.
The award is presented bi-annually, at the conclusion of each semester. In order to be considered for the Scholar All-American honors, a team must average a squad GPA of at least 3.0 or greater.
The ’Birds 3.59 GPA is the second highest in team history, with the team’s 3.61 in Spring 2013 sitting atop.
Ten Illinois State team members scored perfect 4.0 GPAs in the most recent semester. This includes Erica Halley, Valerie Jones, Maggie Kopp, Laura Paskoff, Sarah Rendek, Rachel Root, Kelly Sanks, Samantha Schuckles, Danielle Schumacher and Brianna Winkler. Five of the ten swimmers will be returning for the 2014-2015 campaign.
On top of the awards received by the team, the Missouri Valley Conference recognized the team with academic honors on July 2. Four team members earned the President’s Council Academic Award, 19 were presented with the Commissioner’s Excellence Award and 30 earned a spot on the honor roll. The Redbirds will look to add to their success in and out of the pool in the 2014-2015 season.
The Redbirds’ schedule begins with the Red and White Intrasquad meet Nov. 4 and continues with the Dennis Stark Relays on Nov. 10.