In January, the College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) announced the 2017 Scholar All-America Teams.
The awards are in recognition of teams that achieved a grade point average of 3.0 or higher during the 2016 fall semester. The Northern State University swim team led the nation in NCAA Division II with a 3.76 GPA.
In addition to their honors in the NCAA Division II ranks, the Northern State University women tallied the highest GPA at all levels of college athletics including NCAA Division I, III, and NAIA. The next closest team was Long Island University-Post with a 3.71 mark.
“This is a goal our swimmers set for themselves and set out to achieve it!,” noted head coach Elyce Kastigar. “Hard work never goes wasted. I am excited for and proud of our team for setting this as a team goal and accomplishing this goal.”
“We are so proud of the hard work in the classroom from our swimming student-athletes,” added Northern State Director of Athletics, Josh Moon. “To achieve a 3.76 GPA and participate in one of the toughest sports in the NCAA says a lot about the character and quality of our student-athletes. Congratulations to Coach Kastigar and the entire team for this outstanding achievement!”
To be selected as a CSCAA Scholar All-America Team, programs must have achieved a grade point average of 3.00 or higher over the fall semester. Founded in 1922, the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) — the oldest organization of college coaches in America — is a professional organization of college swimming and diving coaches dedicated to serving and providing leadership for the advancement of the sport of swimming and diving at the collegiate level.
According to the CSCAA website, a record 638 teams, representing 394 institutions have been named CSCAA Scholar All-America Teams. Ninety-one additional teams and thirty-six more institutions achieved the honor compared to a year ago.
The CSCAA believes that “part of the reason for the increase in award-winning teams is the overall growth of the sport. The number of men’s and women’s institutions sponsoring swimming and diving is at a ten-year high. The sport is also enjoying a bump in participation that has traditionally followed Olympic years.”
CSCAA Executive Director Joel Shinofield believes much of the credit goes to the coaches. “Our coaches understand that the essence of intercollegiate athletics is the experience each student-athlete receives, and an emphasis on academics reflects what coaches feel is most important.”
Shinofield went on to note that good grades were not at the expense of athletic excellence. “College swimming and diving has never been more competitive, and yet over 80% of our Division I member teams and nearly 80% of all teams in the Top 25 are also Scholar All-America teams.”
NSU Sports Information
Photos courtesy NSU Sports Information.