Kansas Places 18 On All-Big 12 Academic Teams

LAWRENCE, Kan. — The University of Kansas rowing team landed 18 Jayhawks on the 2015 Academic All-Big 12 Rowing Team. A total of 172 student-athletes around the conference were recognized. 

To attain first team selection, members must have a 3.20 GPA or better, while the second team needs a 3.00 to 3.19 GPA for the previous two semesters. Student-athletes must have participated in at least 60 percent of their team’s scheduled contests. Freshmen and transfers are not eligible in their first year of academic success.

“Academics is always an emphasis on our team,” stated Kansas head coach Rob Catloth. “There isn’t professional rowing so they’re going to have to make it as a student-athlete, which is always one thing we really stress.”

The Academic All-Big 12 First Team Jayhawk honorees are seniors Julia Alvey, Jennifer Hartzler, Sarah Lasini and Brooke Thuston, juniors Casey Kelly, Briana Piña, Tessa Scott and Mary Slattery, sophomores Bailey Brandon, Kylee Dewey, Jordan Helms, Maddie Irelan, Lexie Lanphere, Olivia Loney, Mallory Miller, Kenzie Obrochta and Emily Ruble. Senior Claudijah Lever made the Academic All-Big 12 Second Team.

“I think if you look around the country, the sport really lends itself to academic success,” said Catloth. “Generally, the women who get into rowing are successful academically. It’s sort of a standard to our sport.”

The academic stars have had strong success on the water, as well.  Alvey, Hartzler, Irelan, Lanphere, Lever, Slattery and Thuston played key roles for the First Varsity Eight boat this season. One of their highlights was a comeback victory against Kansas State in the Sunflower Showdown in which KU outlasted the Wildcats by four-tenths of a second to claim the Kansas Cup.

Coxing the Second Varsity Eight, Obrochta has guided her boat to several top finishes this spring, including a pair of first-place finishes coming at the dual against SMU and the Sunflower Showdown with Kansas State. Joining Obrochta on the 2V8 are Helms, Kelly and Loney.

Piña served as the coxswain for the Third Varsity Eight in the 2015 spring season. Along with Piña, Brandon and Ruble helped KU earn a first-place finish in the 3V8 races at the Sunflower Showdown and a second-place overall in the Grand Finals of the Knecht Cup.

Dewey and Miller have paced the Jayhawks as members of the First Varsity Four, placing second in the Petite Finals of the Knecht Cup.

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