By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
SALEM, Ore. -- The men's and women's swimming teams at Willamette University have earned Scholar All-America Team recognition from the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) as a result of their success in the classroom during the spring 2017 semester. Nationwide a record total of 728 teams from 443 colleges and universities in NCAA Division I, NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III, the NAIA and the NJCAA qualified for the Scholar All-America Team designation.
Willamette competes in NCAA Division III. The Bearcats also participate in the Northwest Conference.
The Scholar All-America honor went to programs that earned team grade point averages of 3.0 or higher during the spring semester. It was the sixth consecutive semester that both of Willamette's teams qualified for the award.
"Our staff is extremely proud of how hard our swimmers work in the pool and in the classroom," Willamette Head Swimming Coach Leslie Shevlin said. "One of the things that has helped them be successful in the past year is the upperclassmen organized tutoring sessions. These sessions included everything from chemistry to psychology and were run on a weekly basis. We are proud to coach a group of people who value their education and commitment to each other's success."
Willamette was one of six women's teams in the Northwest Conference to receive Scholar All-America status. The Bearcat men's team also was one of six teams in the NWC to gain Scholar All-America honors.
"I'm incredibly proud of our swimmers for their efforts in the pool and in the classroom," Willamette Assistant Swimming Coach Brent Summers said. "The time and commitment the team shows in helping each other be successful in the classroom is something I take great personal joy in seeing. It doesn't matter if you're a senior or a freshmen, the team is willing to help out and support each other academically. I'm thrilled to be able to coach a group of student-athletes who are as committed to their academics as they are to their athletics."
The WU women's team registered a 3.40 combined GPA this spring. The Willamette men's team finished the semester with a 3.16 combined GPA.