Valek named to Capital One Academic All-District At-Large Team

MINNEAPOLIS — Augsburg College wrestler Tony Valek (SR, Belle Plaine, Minn./Scott West) was named to the Capital One Academic All-District 6 Division III Men’s At-Large Team, it was announced on Thursday.

Valek earned a spot on the 12-player Academic All-District squad, made up of Division III student-athletes from Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan in 12 sports. It’s the second straight Academic All-District honor for Valek, who

Tony Valek

was also named to the Capital One Academic All-America first team last season. Valek is an accounting and general management major with a 3.87 GPA. Valek was named as the winner of the Augsburg Senior Honor Athlete award — the highest student-athlete honor the college gives — at the 2012 Auggie Awards in April.

Valek earned his third All-America honor of his career with a third-place finish at the 2012 NCAA Division III National Championships at 149 pounds, finishing with a 34-1 record. Of his 34 victories, 29 were bonus-point victories (15 pins, two technical falls, 12 major decisions).

Valek finished his four-year career with a 136-25 record, with 87 bonus-point victories (60 pins, six technical falls, 21 major decisions). A four-time national tournament qualifier, Valek finished as national runner-up at 149 pounds in both 2011 and 2010. He was a part of Auggie teams that won the national championship in 2010, while placing second nationally in 2009, 2011 and 2012.

He earned National Wrestling Coaches Association Division III Scholar All-America honors his final three seasons, and was named as the recipient of the NCAA Elite 89 Award as the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average at the 2012 NCAA Division III Wrestling National Championships.

The Capital One Academic All-District team is part of the Capital One Academic All-America program, administered by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Top student-athletes from Division III programs in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan are eligible for inclusion on the District 6 team. Student-athletes must have a grade-point average above 3.30 (4.0 scale) and have outstanding athletic credentials. College sports information directors in the district vote for the teams. The men’s at-large team covers student-athletes in 12 sports — fencing, golf, gymnastics, ice hockey, lacrosse, rifle, skiing, swimming, tennis, volleyball, water polo and wrestling.

This is the first year of the expanded Academic All-America program, as CoSIDA moves from recognizing a University Division (Division I) and a College Division (all non-Division I) and doubles the number of scholar-athletes honored. The teams include NCAA Division I, NCAA Division II and NCAA Division III participants, while the College Division team combines NAIA, Canadian and two-year schools. First-team Academic All-District members will advance to the Academic All-America ballot, voted on by a committee of CoSIDA members.

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