Not only did the Nebraska-Kearney wrestling team earn the highest GPA in all of NCAA Division II this year, according to the Wrestling Coaches Association, but the Lopers cumulative effort of a 3.519 is the highest team GPA ever recorded in the 11-year history of the award.
In addition, nine wrestlers made the Association’s All-Academic team, and sophomore Jeff Sylvester (Lyman) won the 197 lbs. national championship this past weekend.
The Division II W.C.A. recently released the All-Academic team and its top 15 team GPA’s. The Lopers are the seventh different school, and the third from the RMAC, to win the “Academic National Championship.”
Last year, UNK had the nation’s second highest GPA (3.362) with 10 individuals making the All-Academic squad.
The team GPA is calculated by averaging the cumulative grade point averages of 10 wrestlers, eight of whom must have competed at regionals.
Ironically, the two teams behind UNK also are from Nebraska– Chadron State (3.396) and UNO (3.359). RMAC-members Colorado Mines (5th) and Western State (15th) also made the list.
To be nominated for the All-Academic team, a student-athlete must have a minimum of a 3.00 cumulative GPA, be in his second full year at his school, be a varsity team member or key reserve, demonstrate a degree of skill and have two letters of recommendation submitted on his behalf.
UNK’s three All-Americans this year — juniors Bryce Abbey (Goodland, Kan.) and Adam Keiswetter (Kearney) and sophomore Jeff Sylvester (Lyman) — made the All-Academic first-team.
Sylvester, who won the 197 lbs. national championship this past weekend, holds a 3.13 GPA as a multimedia major, while Abbey, a three-time All-American at 125 lbs., maintains a 3.42 GPA as an exercise science major. Keiswetter, a two-time All-American at 133 lbs., currently has a 3.71 GPA in health/physical education.
Fremont junior Aaron Dalton, a two-time NCAA qualifier at 165 lbs., earned All-Academic second-team honors thanks to a 3.12 GPA in biology. North Platte junior Jered Jorgensen, the Lopers starter at heavyweight this year, also was on the second-team with a 3.52 GPA in biology.
Earning honorable mention honors were Lincoln junior Jake Froscheiser (3.63/health/physical education), Greeley junior Tyler Herman (3.68/health/physical education), Colorado sophomore Todd Shank (3.51/biology) and Wyoming sophomore Josh Tolin (3.55/political science).
Keiswetter and Jorgensen made the squad for the third straight year, while Abbey, Dalton, Froscheiser, Herman and Shank earn the honor for the second time.
UNK recently had its fifth Top 10 finish at the NCAA Championships since 1998 and has won four of the past five RMAC/West Region titles.
2003-2004 Division II All-Academic Wrestling Teams
1. Nebraska-Kearney 3.519
2. Chadron State 3.396
3. Nebraska-Omaha 3.359
4. West Liberty State, W.V. 3.325
5. Colorado School of Mines 3.263
6. Central Missouri State 3.253
7. North Dakota State 3.240
8. Augustana, S.D. 3.205
9. Minnesota State-Mankato 3.120
10. Indianapolis 3.110
11. Findlay, Ohio 3.107
12. Truman State, Mo. 3.100
13. Mercyhurst, Pa. 3.026
14. Pittsburgh-Johnstown 3.008
15. Western State 2.963