Repeat! Wrestling team wins NWCA National Academic Championship for a second straight year
The Olivet College wrestling team is ranked No. 4 for its performance on the mat, but the Comets are No. 1 for their performance in the class room. With a 3.642 grade point average, Olivet has won the National Academic Championship from the National Wrestling Coaches Association has won the academic championship for a second straight season and placed in the top 10 for the 14th time since the inception of the award in 1998.
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 junior Nick Allen (Scotville/Mason County Central), senior Robbie Bidlingmaier (Chesterfield Twp./Anchor Bay), junior Matt Darling (Elsie/Ovid-Elsie), junior Dan Fleet (Ada/Lowell), junior Anthony Giordano (Livonia/Clarenceville), senior Jeff Holm (Battle Creek/Harper Creek), freshman Austin Kelley (Allegan), senior Henry McKeown (Bellevue/Olivet), freshman Ross Pennock (Battle Creek/Lakeview) and junior Kyle Witgen (Romeo).
TOP FIVE TEAMS
OLIVET – 3.642 GPA
Alma College – 3.6 GPA
Case Western Reserve (Ohio) University – 3.6 GPA
Messiah (Pa.) College – 3.52 GPA
University of Wis.-LaCrosse – 3.499 GPA
In addition, seven wrestlers earned Individual Scholar All-American honors from the NWCA. They were Allen, Bidlingmaier, Jeff Holm, senior Justin Holm (Battle Creek/Harper Creek), Kelley, McKeown and Witgen. Allen, Jeff Holm and McKeown are earning this honor for a second straight year. The seven honorees are the most for a single-season in school history.
To be eligible for this honor, the student-athlete must have a 3.20 or higher GPA and meet one of three criteria: qualify for the NCAA Championships, place in top six at the NCAA qualifier, or win more than 66 percent of matches and wrestle in 50 percent of scheduled dates.