Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
NORFOLK, VA - For the first time in the 95-year history of the College Swimming & Diving Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) more than 700 teams have received Scholar All-America recognition. Included among the teams was Whittier College's Women's Swimming & Diving Team who posted a team GPA of a 3.51 during the 2017 Spring Semester.
With this recognition, the Purple & Gold have now been acknowledged for the sixth straight time.
CSCAA Executive Director Joel Shinofield cited Whittier's success, noting: "Coach Tasman Backer has done an exceptional job building a top program in the pool and the classroom at Whittier." He added, "We are very fortunate to have schools like Whittier and people like President Herzberger and Director of Athletics Robert Coleman who support these exceptional student-athletes."
In total, 720 teams, representing 443 institutions achieved a grade point average of 3.0 or higher during the Spring 2017 Semester. Part of the reason for the increase in award-winning teams is the overall growth of the sport. The number of men's and women's institutions sponsoring swimming and diving is at a ten-year high. This year's three first-year programs - Salem International University, University of the Ozarks and McKendree University - posted the first or second highest GPA among their Division.
The Ivy League led Division I men's programs with Harvard, Dartmouth and Brown taking the top three spots. Harvard led with a 3.57 GPA. In Division II Urbana College's 3.69 edged Salem International by 0.02. Bridgeport was third with a 3.60. In Division III the University of the Ozarks tied Vassar College with a 3.71, just ahead of Cal Tech. SCAD-Savannah (3.63) and the Fashion Institute of Technology (3.84) led all NAIA and NJCAA men's teams respectively.
Among women's teams Brown University (3.77) bested Northern Iowa and South Carolina by just 0.06. In Division II, McKendree University's four-woman squad posted a perfect 4.00 to lead the way. Adelphi ranked second in front of LIU Post and Urbana. Connecticut College's women posted a 3.73, just 0.01 ahead of Saint Catherine University. Chatham and Pomona-Pitzer tied for third with 3.67 GPAs. In the NAIA Tabor College led the way with a 3.61 while the Fashion Institute of Technology earned a 3.34 to lead all Junior Colleges.