Pool Prodigies – Cougars Top The Nation In Team GPA

Evanston, Ill. – Both the Clark University men's and women's swimming and diving teams have been named recipients of the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) 2011 Scholar All-America Team Award it was announced recently by CSCA Executive Director Bob Groseth.

In order to be eligible for the award, a team must have achieved a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher and must have met this standard in the fall semester and in the semester of the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships (Winter/Spring). The award encompasses all three divisions of the NCAA, as well as junior colleges and the NAIA.

The Cougar women finished with the highest GPA (3.67) of any team eligible – men or women, while the Clark men turned in a GPA of 3.49, good for sixth among all Division III men's teams.

In addition to the team awards, junior All-America Eileen Garcia (New York, N.Y.) and freshman Gabriela Jijon-Nemalceff (Quito, Ecuador) were named individual scholar All-America and honorable mention scholar All-America, respectively.

Garcia adds another honor to her already impressive total. A communication and culture major, she has re-written the diving record books at Clark since her arrival three seasons ago. The two-time New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Diver of the Year, she is a five-time All-American, having advanced to the NCAA Championships three times. The record holder in all of Clark's diving events, Garcia is also a two-time defending NEWMAC Champion in both the 1-meter and 3-meter events and is a three-time Worcester City Championships Diver of the Meet.

In order to be eligible for the individual, Scholar All American award, student-athletes must have achieved a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or higher, for the semester or cumulative average, and have qualified for their respective national championship.

Jijon-Nemalceff, meanwhile, earns her first major award with her selection as Honorable Mention Scholar All-American. She burst onto the scene in her first year of action, setting five individual school records and teaming up on a pair of relay records as well.  

 To qualify for honorable mention, student-athletes must have achieved a grade point average of 3.5 or higher, for the semester or cumulative average, and have achieved a "B" time standard, but have not qualified to compete in their respective national championship.

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