Jayhawk Rookies Recognized for Academic Success
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Morning weights. Breakfast on the go. Class. Lunch. More class. Tutoring. Practice. Dinner. Group meeting. Homework. Sleep. Repeat. Kansas student-athletes Ariadna Fonseca Diaz, Kaitlyn Hartnett and Ryan Liston have all managed to flawlessly navigate a similarly hectic schedule during their first year as Jayhawks and were recognized among 42 total KU freshmen on the 2015-16 Academic All-Big 12 Rookie Team.
Fonseca Diaz (golf), Hartnett (rowing) and Liston (cross country/track and field) were part of 39 total freshmen league honorees with perfect 4.0 grade point averages (GPA) and were among 445 total conference cohorts recognized with a 3.0 GPA or better.
“To balance athletics and academics, I make sure that I view both as priorities,” Liston, a former Lawrence Free State High School valedictorian and KU journalism major, said. “In school, I always strive to do my best and an ‘A’ for me is the standard. I finish all of my assignments to the best of my ability to make sure I keep up that standard.”
The Academic All-Big 12 Rookie Team honors conference competitors who are new, incoming freshmen at their respective league institution. Four institutions totaled 50 or more honorees this year, including Baylor (56), Oklahoma (55), TCU (52) and Texas (52).
Nominated by each institution’s director of student-athlete support services, student-athletes on the Academic All-Big 12 Rookie Team must be new, first-time/incoming freshmen that have completed 24 semester hours of non-remedial coursework and achieved a cumulative GPA of at least 3.00. Additionally, the student-athlete must have participated in at least one of their team’s scheduled contests and must have been a member of their respective team for their sport’s entire NCAA Championship segment. The Academic All-Big 12 Rookie Team was introduced in the 2012-13 academic year.
Kansas’ honorees were part of a departmental effort that saw a new spring semester GPA record of 3.04 set in 2016, news that was announced Wednesday afternoon, and have the Jayhawks in good shape to continue a positive trend of NCAA academic success indicators like the Academic Progress Rate (APR) and Graduation Success Rate (GSR). KU tied a departmental record with six teams logging perfect APR scores during the 2014-15 school year and Jayhawk student-athletes combined to post an 84 GSR, as announced last fall.
KUAthletics.com: The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.