Daily Egyptian

Swim teams achieve academic honors

By Tyler Dixon

 

The Saluki men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams have earned Scholar All- America honors from the College Swimming Coaches Association of America for their work in the classroom during the spring semester.

The honors are given to swimming and diving teams from the CSCAA for having a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher. The women’s team finished the spring semester with a 3.43 GPA and ranked 43rd in the country, and the men’s team achieved a 3.16 GPA and ranked 36th in the country.

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Head coach Rick Walker said he’s proud not only of his athletes but also of the athletic department as a whole.

“I’m proudest of our athletes and the job they do, but I’m also, in a very close second, proudest of our athletic department,” he said. “These kids will have a much longer life after they leave here.”

Walker said if the athletic department doesn’t do a good job while students are here, they have wasted four years because the students look to the academic advisers to help continue their academic success, he said.

“We rely heavily on Kristina Therriault and her staff. Without them, we don’t have the success that we have in the classroom,” he said. “It’s a great team.”

Walker said the department will continue to see academic success by supporting each other, maintaining successful processes and improving everywhere else.

While many student-athletes enjoy focusing on their sport, two recent graduates are grateful they focused on their studies.

Jessica Wolfe-Anderson, a 2013 graduate in radio-television from Hartland, Wis., was named to the Missouri Valley Conference Scholar-Athlete team three times and maintained a 4.0 GPA all four years at SIU.

Wolfe-Anderson was one of only two MVC swimmers to achieve a 4.0 GPA in her junior season and was one of three in the MVC to achieve a 4.0 GPA her senior year. She said it means more to her to be a student first than an athlete.

“I would say that’s more important to me than the actual athlete part,” she said.

Justin Wolfe, a 2013 graduate in mechanical engineering from Bloomington, was a two-time All-Conference selection in the Valley Conference and a two-time Academic All- Conference selection during his time as a Saluki. Wolfe said athletes need to focus on being a student as well as an athlete because what they learn as a student will help them in the future.

“It feels good knowing that I put my academics first because I tend to see the benefits of it now,” Wolfe said. “If there’s any advice I could give to anyone, it’s to take the student part first because that’s going to go with you the rest of your life.”

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