The CMS Swimming and Diving Teams received recognition from the College Swimming Coaches Association for outstanding academic achievement during the spring 2012 semester. The CMS Stags ranked 30th among all NCAA D-III teams with a GPA of 3.27. The Athenas ranked 40th with a 3.41 GPA. Each semester the CSCAA honors Scholar All-American teams based on the squad's GPA for the term. To be eligible for consideration, the team must exceed 3.0 for the overall GPA.
Although it's not unusual for the two teams to earn outstanding academic achievement recognition, there is something to be said for the way CMC's athletes manage to balance their classroom and athletic responsibilities.
"The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges attract very bright and motivated student-athletes," says head coach Charlie Griffiths. "When you put great people in an environment that encourages the meshing of academic and athletic success, great results naturally follow.
"Prospective students have asked me about athletics tutors in Claremont, and I can't help but laugh a little," Griffiths notes. "CMS student-athletes don't get extra help, because they're normal students with the same resources and expectations as every other student. Of course, the resources available to everyone are phenomenal, especially the regular interactions with their professors."
In addition to the team academic successes, individually, nine CMS swimmers and divers were named to the CSCAA Scholar All-American team. Student-athletes must achieve a 3.50 or better semester GPA. To qualify for the First Team, the student-athlete must qualify for and participate in the NCAA D-III Swimming and Diving Championships. To qualify for Honorable Mention Scholar All-American, the student-athlete must have achieved an NCAA "B" (provisional) cut during the season. First Team CSCAA Scholar All-American Emma Jones
James Stevick Honorable Mention CSCAA Scholar All-American Brett Berger
Griffiths says one of his goals as coach is to help the team members learn to focus on the task at hand. "Before we start practice, we often have a quick meeting outlining the day's goals, which helps the swimmers transition from buzzing about their accounting midterms to tuning into becoming faster swimmers," he says. "Then, when practice is done, I start asking questions about their homework and upcoming assignments to help them move past practice and into study-mode."
Beyond the CSCAA SAA accolades, CMS swimming and diving earned several other post-season academic honors. The SCIAC Conference recognized 12 Athenas and six Stags on the SCIAC All-Academic Team for posting a greater than 3.40 GPA, completing more than two full semesters at CMC, HMC or Scripps College, and competing in the 2012 SCIAC Championships. Athenas: Kelly Chang, Whitney Dawson, Kristie Howard, Laura Jeddeloh, Annika Jessen, Helen Liu, Nicole Lotte, Carmen Lundell, Tara McIntyre, Jaclyn Olmos-Silverman, Dana Shaker, Amy Tresenrider Stags: Anthony Corso, Joey Klonowski, Nathan Lenssen, Robert MacGregor, Jeff McNerney, Brad Perfect
Five CMS swimmers etched their names on the CMS "Wall of Fame" for earning First Team All-SCIAC honors and during their careers and graduating with a better than 3.0 GPA: Katie Bilotti, Whitney Dawson, Austin Hallett, Emma Jones and Vincent Pai.
The academic honors help celebrate an excellent year for the CMS Stags and Athenas.
Both squads earned SCIAC Championships with matching 7-0 conference dual meet records and SCIAC championship meet titles. The wins helped CMS earn the 2011-12 SCIAC men's, women's and combined All-Sports trophy.
The Athenas placed 9th at the 2012 NCAA D-III Swimming and Diving Championships in Indianapolis, and the Stags placed 27th at the meet. Six CMS swimmers scored All-American trophies and one diver earned Honorable Mention All-American.
Notable individual honors went to:
SCIAC Swimming/Diving Athlete of the YearMichele Kee
Harvey Mudd College Athlete of the YearVincent Pai
At the CMS swimming and diving team's awards banquet, the following student-athletes were honored: Stags Outstanding SwimmingVincent Pai
Outstanding DiverJames Stevick
Rookie of the YearMarc Blumberg/James Stevick
Quantum LeapJoey Klonowski
Shoenfeld (Most Inspirational)Jordan Lieberman Athenas Outstanding SwimmerMichele Kee
Outstanding DiverCarmen Lundell
Rookie of the YearLillyBelle Deer
Quantum LeapAlex Forsyth
Critchell (Most Inspirational)Emma Jones