Swimming and Diving Garners 16 Academic All-Big 12 Honors

Big 12 List: Swimming & Diving Academic All-Big 12 Teams (.pdf) 

IRVING, Texas – Kansas swimming and diving’s hard work in the pool had led to another successful season, but the hard work, or great achievement, doesn’t end there. Kansas student-athletes topped the Big 12’s academic awards with 16 honorees as announced by the league office Tuesday, the day before the start of the Big 12 Swimming and Diving Championships. Twelve Jayhawks received Academic All-Big 12 First Team recognition, joining Iowa State and Texas who also garnered a dozen nominees.
More than half of KU’s 27-person roster – and 80 percent of those eligible – received academic honors, with Hannah Angell, Laura Bilsborrow, Hannah Driscoll, Nika Fellows, Bryce Hinde, Lindsay Manning, Anna Peirano, Leah Pfitzer, Gretchen Pocisk, Lydia Pocisk, Sammie Schurig and Madison Straight all receiving first team recognition. Kansas led the second team honors with four – Madison Hutchison, Nadia Khechfe, Chelsie Miller and Haley Molden.
A total of 102 swimming and diving student-athletes were recognized for their academic success from around the league. Sixty-eight women were named from the five squads. All-Big 12 First Team members consist of those who have maintained a 3.20 or better GPA while the second team selections hold a 3.00 to 3.19 GPA. To qualify, student-athletes must maintain a 3.00 GPA or higher either cumulative or the two previous semesters and must have participated in 60 percent of their team’s scheduled contests. Freshmen and transfers are not eligible in their first year of academic residence. Senior student-athletes who have participated for a minimum of two years and meet all the criteria except percent of participation are also eligible.
The senior duo of Bilsborrow and Hinde has collected First Team accolades for the third consecutive season, while Angell, Pfitzer, G. Pocisk and Schurig earn their second award. The rest of the list was recognized for the first time. Kansas had five freshmen, one transfer and a partial-season participant ineligible to earn academic recognition, giving the team an 80 percent success rate with 16 out of 20 eligible student-athletes garnering an award. 

In January, Kansas was recognized by the College Swim Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) as one of 548 Scholar All-America teams, marking 27-straight semesters honored under head coach Clark Campbell. Last fall Kansas accumulated an overall GPA of 3.23, with the team averaging a 3.14 GPA during Campbell’s tenure.

“It’s really a tribute to the team,” Campbell said in January. “We are truly student-athletes and student always comes first. As coaches and as upper classmen, we place a lot of importance on academics so the younger ones, the freshmen, integrate really fast and realize grades are really important.

“We state it as a goal and hold each other accountable for it, but I think on a daily basis Laura Jacobsen, our swimming and diving academic advisor, is the one who is really getting them into situations where they can be successful. Whether it be in their major or within their tutoring and study habits, that’s what is helping make sure that we are successful not only in the pool, but in the classroom.”
The announcements come the day before the Jayhawks are set to begin competition at the 2016 Big 12 Swimming and Diving Championships, where the team hopes to return to the top two and match its best Big 12 finish in 2014. The meet is held at the Texas’ Jamail Swimming Center and will begin Wednesday, Feb. 25, at 6 p.m. and continues through Saturday, Feb. 27.

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