The College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America named Brenau University’s swim team to the Scholar All-America Team for the fall 2023 semester. The team’s 3.85 GPA puts it at the top of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics schools on the list.
CSCAA announced the selection of 783 teams from 461 institutions to the team on Feb. 5. These teams, representing 18,716 student-athletes, were chosen based on their outstanding academic performance during the specified semester, according to the CSCAA website.
To qualify for the recognition, teams had to exhibit exceptional grade point averages during the fall 2023 semester. Of the selected teams, 595 achieved a GPA of 3.30 or above, earning eligibility for the Intercollegiate Coach Association Coalition All-Sport Academic Standings.
Head Coach Mandi Bell said she is proud of the team.
“They work hard and long hours both in the pool and out,” Bell said. “I started a mandatory study hall for all incoming freshmen this year, run by the junior and senior girls on the team. One of my goals when I was hired was to make sure that we are as competitive in the classroom as we are in the pool. The girls on the team embraced my goal and took it to a new level! They had the highest GPA of all NAIA teams last semester!”
Bell added that the team leaves on Wednesday for the conference championships and she “cannot wait to see what they do in the water!”
Brenau has been performing well in competition to start 2024, topping Columbia (S.C.) College 421-177 in a dual swim meet in January. In a strong team showing, the Golden Tigers earned the top spot in 12 of the 14 events. Brenau next heads to Kingsport, Tennessee, Feb. 8-10 for the Appalachian Athletic Conference Championship Swim Meet. Brenau’s swim team is currently ranked No. 2 in the conference and No. 15 in NAIA dual rankings. Brenau won the AAC championship in 2018 and 2019.
Among NAIA schools, Brenau women and St. Mary (KS) men took the lead, while Erie Community College led all NJCAA women with a 3.83 GPA, and the Southwestern Oregon men’s team led the way with a 3.43 GPA.
Caltech’s men and women, NCAA Division III, demonstrated academic excellence by leading across all divisions with GPAs of 3.91 and 3.98, respectively.
For the third consecutive fall, Harvard’s men secured the top spot in Division I with a 3.79 GPA. Similarly, the Marshall women topped the Division I women’s GPA rankings for a second-straight fall with a 3.80. Catawba College stood out among Division II schools, boasting the highest GPAs with their women at 3.93 and men at 3.65.
In addition to the team achievements, 19 conferences demonstrated their commitment to academic excellence by placing 100% of their men’s or women’s teams on the Scholar All-America Team list.
Samantha Barany, executive director of the CSCAA, commented on the impressive accomplishments.
“The dedication to academic excellence displayed by these teams is truly commendable,” Barany said. “It is heartening to witness student-athletes thriving both in the pool and in their academic pursuits. The CSCAA is proud to recognize and celebrate the hard work and commitment of these teams.”
For more information, please visit https://www.cscaa.org/scholaraa.