July 11, 2014
NEW ORLEANS - While the Green Wave have not taken the pool since late March, the 2013-14 Tulane University women's swimming and diving program continues to achieve lofty status as the team claimed Scholar All-America status as announced by the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) on Friday.
Honoring teams with cumulative grade point averages of 3.0 or higher, the CSCAA added Tulane to its list of spring Scholar All-America teams after the Green Wave posted a cumulative GPA of 3.53 last semester, which ranks tied for 12th among the teams being recognized. It marked the fifth consecutive season that Tulane earned title of Scholar-America since the program was reinstated for the 2009-10 campaign.
"I think it says a lot about the young women on the team about how ambitious they are when it comes to their career and their education," Tulane head coach Katie Robinson said. "It's always something that has been valued here at Tulane and we look to continue that tradition with our swimming and diving program. Not very many schools across the country can earn above a 3.5 [grade point average] and it's nice to be in that top echelon of schools."
Eighteen of the 21 student-athletes to take the pool for Tulane last year posted at least a 3.0 GPA during the spring semester, including 4.0 showings by junior Amy Needham, sophomores Holly Grender and Rachel Schneider, and freshman Joy Jason.
In addition, seven others tallied GPAs of 3.5 or better: Claire Schelske (3.934), Laura Turpen (3.934), Morgan Evans (3.804), Roni Meyers (3.800), Ellie Sills (3.750), Cari Caprio (3.718) and Maren Kjell (3.518). Rounding out the list of 3.0 student-athletes on the Green Wave roster during the spring were Elizabeth Cook (3.399), Molly Jubas (3.334), Jonna Frantz (3.258), Lauren Arnold (3.255), Ali Talwar (3.274) and Vanessa Loewen (3.168).
"We're excited about it," Robinson added on her team's academic distinction. "The girls did a fantastic job, and a lot of credit should go to our academic coordinator, Micahla Williams, as well as Caltha Seymour and her staff in their support of the student-athletes in any kind of academic need that should arise."
Tulane is the lone team from Louisiana to claim a spot on the CSCAA Scholar All-American listings and is one of five members of the American Athletic Conference to earn the academic accolade, joining SMU (3.40), East Carolina (3.29), UConn (3.22) and Houston (3.20).
In addition to their work in the classroom, the Green Wave had a solid season in the pool in the first season under Robinson's direction. Playing in the final season as a member of Conference USA, Tulane finished sixth at the league championship meet with 463 points - 90 more than the year prior, the third-highest total by the program in a conference meet and the most since the Wave scored 729 en route to winning the 2005 C-USA crown.
During that meet, Tulane posted 35 season-best times, 22 career-best marks and four school-records. Sills went on to claim C-USA Freshman Swimmer of the Year honors and Arnold was invited to participate in the NCAA Zone Diving Meet.