Eleven West Virginia University gymnasts have been named to the the Women’s Collegiate Gymnastics Association (WCGA) Scholastic All-America team.
Since 1987, WVU gymnasts have earned 158 WCGA Scholastic All-America awards.
In addition to its individual honors, the team’s grade point average (GPA) of 3.5876 ranks at No. 38 in the nation.
“I am so proud of our student-athletes and all their hard work in the classroom this year,” Mountaineer coach Jason Butts said. “Every year, they push themselves to achieve our goals of academic excellence and prepare themselves for the next step in their careers. Time management is one of the biggest challenges for a student-athlete, and this team excels in striking a balance between academics and athletics. I know they will continue to receive recognition for their success in the classroom, and I am honored to see them representing our great state every day.”
Graduates Abby Kaufman (exercise physiology) and Julia Merwin (sport and exercise psychology) collected their fourth career honors, while rising senior McKenna Linnen (marketing) was honored for the third time.
A pair of Mountaineers were recognized for the second straight year – Esperanza Abarca (exercise physiology) and Kassidy Cumber (exercise physiology).
An additional six gymnasts garnered the honor for the first time – Emily Holmes-Hackerd (exercise physiology), Rachel Hornung (exercise physiology), Sydney Marler (marketing), Abbie Pierson (exercise physiology), Taylor Sell (management) and Kianna Yancey (psychology).
To qualify for the exclusive honor, a gymnast must have a GPA of 3.50 for either the preceding academic year or have a cumulative GPA of 3.50 or higher at the nominating institution. Overall, there were 53 teams maintaining a GPA of 3.50 or more on a 4.0 scale, an increase from 31 teams a year ago. Additionally, a record number of student-athletes, 193, recorded a 4.0 GPA.
The WCGA is an advocate for women’s collegiate gymnastics. The association seeks to actively manage and develop the sport of women’s gymnastics at the collegiate level and works with the NCAA and USA Gymnastics in order to provide the best possible experience for student-athletes.