Evanston, Ill. – It's been quite a calendar year in and out of the pool for the Clark University Swimming and Diving programs. In the classroom the Cougars continue to rack up very prestigious academic awards, including a few that have come in over the last week.
First, the men's and women's swimming and diving programs were both named to the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) Scholar All-America team it was announced by Executive Director Bob Groseth.
The women ranked 19th overall with a team grade point average of 3.44, while the men post a team GPA of 3.23 – ahead of institutions like Connecticut College, Hamilton College and WPI.
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.
Then, the Cougars also placed 13 student-athletes on the NEWMAC academic all-conference squad. To be selected, honorees must have met the following criteria: earned a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5/4.0 scale or 4.35/5.0 scale after the 2011 fall semester, achieved second year academic status at their institution, and been a member of the varsity team for the entire season. Those individuals are: Rachel Cohen (West Boxford, Mass.), Chris Conroy (West Chester, Pa.), Eileen Garcia (New York, N.Y.), Leah Guliasi (San Rafael, Calif.), Jordan Heller (Sherman Oaks, Calif.), Maura Houghton (Stoneham, Mass.), Joshua Kent (Longmeadow, Mass.), Camilo Cela Lopez (Tres Cantos, Spain), Emily Newton (East Lyme, Conn.), Lisa Packard (Arlington, Mass.), Holly Palardy (Pittsfield, Mass.), Erin Smith (Carrollton, Texas) and Josh Yocum (Rocky Hill, Conn.).
All of this comes on the heels of former distance swimmer Elizabeth Rosen being named just the third CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America) Academic All-American in school history last June and the Cougar women finishing with the highest GPA (3.67) of any team eligible – men or women in the spring 2011 release of the CSCAA Scholar All-America Teams.