Pickrel, SDSU honored by NWCA

The National Wrestling Coaches Association announced its annual Division I All-Academic Top 30 Team and the NWCA Individual All-Academic wrestling team for the 2010-11 wrestling season. South Dakota State University finished the year with the fourth-highest GPA among D-I wrestling programs, following only Harvard, American and Columbia.

SDSU earned the fourth-place spot with a cumulative GPA of 3.2296. The Jackrabbits moved up eight spots from last year’s 12th-place rank with a 3.106 GPA.

Aaron Pickrel earned a spot on the NWCA Individual All-Academic team with a 3.92 GPA as a biology/pre-medicine major. On the mat, Pickrel ended his sophomore campaign with a 26-10 record.

“I am very proud of our student-athletes for earning the fourth-highest cumulative GPA in Division I wrestling. The award shows how hard our guys work as student-athletes,” said head coach Jason Liles.

For teams to be eligible for consideration, the team GPA must be comprised of 12 student-athletes, including the 10 wrestlers that were the entries in the NCAA conference-qualifying tournament. If teams had less than 10 entries for their respective qualifiers, they may fill those spots with wrestlers that competed in at least one varsity dual.

To qualify for the All-Academic team, a wrestler must have at least a 3.2 cumulative GPA, and either be an NCAA qualifier or won 60 percent of this total schedule – and must have compete in at least 60 percent of said schedule. A wrestler can also qualify for the All-Academic team by owning a 3.0 GPA and be an NCAA All-American.