Five Athletics Teams Garner Academic Recognition
Success on the field of play and also in the classroom is commonplace for Rensselaer Athletics teams. Five squads were recently honored for their work in the latter, showing just cause why varsity student-athletes posted a higher grade point average than that of their non-student-athlete counterparts for the 21st-straight semester.
Rensselaer student-athletes posted a 3.18 grade point average for the fall 2011 term, powered by the solid efforts from the men's and women's cross country, field hockey, and men's and women’s swimming and diving programs. All five squads were recognized within their sports for being among the best in the nation academically—a feat that is familiar for the entire group.
The men's and women's cross country teams had an outstanding fall semester and garnered U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) honors for their efforts. The men had the sixth highest GPA among 131 honored schools, boasting a 3.54 grade point average. It was the fifth straight recognition for the men, who had the nation's best GPA in 2010.
On the women's side, the Engineers had a 3.48 GPA to garner USTFCCCA honors for the fourth straight year. Pacing the way for the squads were seniors Jeff Corelli and Christine Koch, along with junior Patrick Cavanaugh. All three earned individual awards from the organization for their achievements. Corelli, who graduated in December with a 3.92 GPA and a degree in mechanical engineering, represented Rensselaer at the NCAA Championships. He also garnered All-Region, All-State, and All-League honors in the 2011 season.
The field hockey team, which went 11-5 and appeared in the Liberty League Semifinals in 2011, kept up the strong momentum for the fall squads, tabbed by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) as one of 106 squads recognized. Consistently one of the top teams in the nation, including being named the top squad in the country in 2004 and 2005, the Engineers recorded a 3.40 grade point average in fall 2011.
Additionally, 11 student-athletes were named to the NFHCA National Academic Squad, including four-time honorees Julie Campbell and Briana Earle.
Others selected included senior Erika Hawksley, junior Holly Dupuis, sophomore Julia Wright, and freshmen Hannah Clough, Chloe Hutchinson, Catherine Mahoney, Kelsea Messer, Hannah Nelson, and Molly Zuk.
Rounding out the academic efforts were the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams, which earned team recognition from the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA), and also individual honors on the UNYSCSA All-Academic Team.
The men’s squad boasted a team cumulative grade point average of 3.43 to rank 10th of 76 named squads. Eleven student-athletes were named to the UNYSCSA's All-Academic team, including graduate student Alex Updegrove and seniors Kevin Boddie, Chris Hall, and Jason Rock. On the women's side, the Engineers posted a cumulative GPA of 3.22 and saw six student-athletes recognized as State All-Academic honorees, including senior captains Carly Antonucci and Anita Westbrook.