Brenau Swimmers Receive National Recognition for Athletic and Academic Excellence
The College Swimming Coaches Association of America named seven student-athletes from the No. 3 nationally ranked Brenau University Golden Tigers swimming team to its 2015 Scholar All-America team.
Those honored for excelling both in athletics and academic performances include Courtney Hayward, a junior psychology major from Townsville, Australia; Alisha Hodgetts, a sophomore business major from Perth, Australia; Ella Kleinschmidt, a sophomore early childhood education major from Hervey Bay, Australia; Madison Kosater, a sophomore history and political science major from Macon, Georgia; Sophie Nasstrom, a junior business major from Stockholm, Sweden; Shelby Rumker, a Douglas, Georgia, native who graduated earlier this year with a Bachelor of Science in biology; and Talia Sola, a junior general studies major from Madrid, Spain.
Five of the honorees – Hayward, Hodgetts, Kleinschmidt, Rumker and Sola – earned All-America honors for their athletic performances in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Swimming and Diving Championships held earlier this year in Oklahoma City.
“I’m thrilled that our student-athletes continue to excel in their respective sports,” said Brenau Athletics Director Michael Lochstampfor. “Even more meaningful is that they are so driven to succeed academically.”
The national swimming coaches organization selects Scholar All-America teams twice during the traditional August to May academic year – once after the fall term and again after spring graduation. In the summer, however, it also singles out individual Scholar All-America selections. To be eligible for that list, athletes must have compiled at least a 3.5 grade point average on a 4.0 scale for the previous academic year and must have competed in the previous spring’s NAIA national championship meet.
The Brenau team overall ranked No. 1 in the nation academically among NAIA teams at the end of the fall term with a cumulative 3.52 GPA. For the spring term Scholar All-America rankings, the Golden Tigers’ GPA dropped ever so slightly to 3.51, but it was still high enough for the team to be No. 2 nationally in the academic rankings.
“This distinction is a tremendous accomplishment for both the university and the students,” said Nate Rhoads, head swimming coach of the Golden Tigers. “It honors and recognizes the hard work and dedication of these athletes in the classroom and in the pool.”
Hayward, Hodgetts, Kleinschmidt and Kosater are all returning for the 2015-16 squad. Among other senior standouts, they will be joined by All-America performer Mary Katherine Jabbia, a biology major from Slidell, Louisiana, and seasoned butterfly and distance swimmer Kathleen Rossi, a fashion design major from Clearwater, Florida. Freshman newcomers to the team include Carlota Gomez, a psychology major from Barcelona, Spain, and Devin Horan, a health science major from Savannah, Georgia.
When classes resume on Aug. 24, they will be among 183 Women’s College students – representing about 20 percent of the Women’s College total enrollment – who participate in intercollegiate athletics programs.
“When people ask me why we place so much emphasis on competitive sports at Brenau, I point to accomplishments like this academic recognition by the swimming coaches,” said Brenau President Ed Schrader. “Historically, our student athletes as a group have a higher overall GPA than the rest of the student body. They place that same drive to excel on the field to their studies.”
The Golden Tigers begin the 2015-16 season on Saturday, Sept. 26, against Columbia College and Point University at the Brenau University Pool, 800 Brenau Lane, at 1 p.m.
More information about the team, including the dates, times and locations of the upcoming season’s meets, are online at http://www.brenautigers.com/sport/0/7.php.