By Jason Bryant
Manheim, Pa. – The National Wrestling Coaches Association released its Top 30 Division III All-Academic teams and the top 182 All-Academic individuals on Wednesday.
King’s College led the overall team standings with an average grade-point average of 3.49, followed by Williams College at 3.42, NYU and Johns Hopkins at 3.36 and Norwich at 3.35.
Individually, 12-time Division III champion Wartburg placed the most individuals on the team with eight wrestlers. Baldwin Wallace, Luther, Roger Williams, Williams and Wisconsin-La Crosse each had six wrestlers on the individual team.
Nominees must have at least a 3.2 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) for the previous full academic year. Transfers and freshmen are eligible if they’ve been in residence at their current institution beginning in the fall of 2015. On the competition side, wrestlers much be a national qualifier in 2015-16 and have a minimum win percentage of at least .500.
Additionally, wrestlers can also be considered if they placed in the top six at their respective regional tournament, a win percentage of .500 or better and competed in half of the institution’s scheduled competition in NCAA championship events. A wrestler can also be considered if they have a win percentage of .670 or better and competed in half of the institution’s scheduled NCAA events.
“This just continues to show the importance of how athletes in Division III balance their athletic careers and their educational opportunities,” said NWCA Executive Director Mike Moyer. “Division III is the largest in number of teams at the NCAA level and we know these athletes are competing without athletic scholarships and their experiences on the mat and in the classroom exemplify what it means to compete in Division III and in the sport of wrestling.”
Individually, five Division III champions from 2016 were represented with Messiah leading the way with two champions – Lucas Malmberg at 125 and Ben Swarr at 174. Three-time Division III champion Riley Lefever of Wabash was also represented as were Luther’s Reed VanAnrooy and Wisconsin-Stevens Point’s Logan Hermsen.
In all 27 of the 80 Division III All-Americans this past season were All-Academic. Also making the squad was Southern Maine’s Daniel Del Gallo, who won the NCAA’s prestigious Elite 90 award, which goes to the athlete at the championships with the highest GPA.
Rounding out the top 10 teams were Wisconsin-La Crosse (3.33), Washington & Lee (3.30), Wisconsin-Stevens Point (3.29), Wheaton (3.28) and Augsburg (3.27).
“It’s impressive that over a third of our Division III All-Americans were also All-Academic selections,” said Moyer. “This further validates that when we see new programs added at the Division III level, those institutions are bringing in quality student-athletes.”
[eztable caption=”Top 30 Division III All-Academic Team Standings” width=”500″]Rank,School,Starters,GPA
3,New York University,10,3.36
7,Washington and Lee,5,3.30
14,Washington and Jefferson,9,3.25
23,Stevens Institute Of Technology,10,3.15
25,The College of New Jersey,10,3.15
27,Daniel Webster College,5,3.13