WASHINGTON D.C. - The American University men's swimming and diving team posted a 3.54 GPA in the spring semester, the highest team grade-point average of all Division I swimming and diving programs, the Collegiate Swim Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) announced. The women's program placed 14th in the nation with a 3.44 GPA. Based on their GPAs, both teams were named CSCAA Scholar-Athlete Teams for the 27th consecutive semester.
The men's team's 3.54 GPA was nearly a tenth of a point ahead of the country's second-place finisher. Lafayette (3.45), Dartmouth (3.43), Ohio State (3.37) placed two through four in the rankings, while Columbia, Denver and Notre Dame finished in a tie for fifth with a 3.36 GPA. AU's 3.54 mark is the highest single-semester GPA in team history.
The Eagles were led in the classroom by freshman James Fleming (3.84, international relations) and junior Eric Sveum (3.74). In total, 70 percent of the men's swimming and diving team earned University Dean's List honors in the spring semester (at least a 3.5 GPA).
On the women's side, the Eagles placed in a five-way tie for 14th, posting a 3.44 team GPA along with Bucknell, Cornell, Providence and Minnesota. Rice led the rankings with a 3.62 GPA.
American's women's program had seven student-athletes earn over a 3.8 GPA in the spring semester, led by 3.94 marks from sophomore Shannon Cummings (international studies and communications) and freshman Elinor Shetter (international studies and pre-med).
"We are very proud to receive this honor," commented AU Head Coach Mark Davin. "Academics are the foremost priority for our student-athletes, and it is unquestionable that they take this commitment seriously. This award is a testament to how hard our student-athletes work both in the pool and in the classroom."
This marks the 27th consecutive semester that both the men's and women's swimming and diving teams have been named CSCAA Scholar-Athlete Teams. In order to earn the honor, a team must have a 3.0 team GPA or higher in that given semester.
This award is a capstone on the Athletics Department's comprehensive, academic success for the year. In total, 152 AU student-athletes were named the University's Dean's List in either the fall or spring semester. The combined student-athlete GPA for the year was 3.30. Additionally, for the second consecutive year, AU's wrestling team was recognized as the "Champions of the Classroom" for the highest team GPA in the country.
The full list of CSCAA's 2009 Scholar-Athlete Teams is available by clicking here.