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Olivet College wrestling team wins NWCA National Academic Championship
Apr 08, 2013

The success of the Olivet College wrestling team in 2012-13 carried over from the mat and into the classroom. The Comets reached as high as No. 7 in the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) poll during the season. With a 3.67 grade point average (GPA), Olivet was then crowned the NCAA Division III National Champion for academics by virtue of a first-place standing in the NWCA Scholar Team awards. This award was presented at the NWCA banquet prior to the start of the NCAA Division III National Championships March 14 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

“I am so proud of all members of the wrestling team,” said Provost and Dean Maria Davis, Ph.D. “They are outstanding examples of what it means to be a student-athlete.”

To determine the GPA, a coach submits the average cumulative GPA for 10 wrestlers on his squad. Six of the 10 wrestlers must have competed at the NCAA Regional qualifying tournament and the remaining wrestlers must have participated in at least half of the team’s scheduled competitions during the season.

The 10 members of the Comets’ Scholar All-American team were sophomore Nick Allen (Scotville/Mason County Central), senior Jake Ceslick (Alpena), senior Josh Crawford (Birch Run), sophomore Matt Darling (Elsie/Ovid-Elise), sophomore Dan Fleet (Ada/Lowell), sophomore Anthony Giordano (Livonia/Clarenceville), sophomore Jeff Holm (Battle Creek/Harper Creek), senior Logan Renas (Big Rapids), senior Kenny Richmond (Brighton) and sophomore Kyle Witgen (Romeo).

This year’s first-place finish marks the highest placement in school history. The previous high was second in both 2003 and 2012. Since the inception of the award in 1998, Olivet has been ranked in the top 10 of the standings 14 times, and the only two years it did not finish in the top 10 were 2009 and 2010.

“I am so thrilled for the guys on our team,” said Olivet Head Coach Brandon Brissette. “They have all worked extremely hard in the class room. Getting this award shows it is possible to not only have success on the mat but also in academics.”

In addition, six Comets earned NWCA Individual Scholar All-American honors. They were Allen, Ceslick, Holm, Renas, Richmond and sophomore Henry McKeown (Bellevue/Olivet). Renas, who has a 3.49 GPA in business administration, is a three-time honoree. A business management major with a 3.49 GPA, Richmond is also three-time honoree. The other four earned the honor for the first time.

To be eligible for this award, a wrestler must have at least a 3.20 GPA, place in the top six at the regional qualifying tournament and have sophomore standing.

Visit to view photos of the honorees.

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