Nine WVU Gymnasts Earn Academic Recognition
Nine West Virginia University gymnasts were named to the 2020 Academic All-Big 12 Gymnastics First Team.
The nine first-team honors are a team record and top the previous season-best showing of eight, set in 2018 and 2019.
Of the nine Mountaineer honorees, two earned their awards with 4.0 grade point averages (GPA): senior Julia Merwin (sport and exercise psychology) and junior McKenna Linnen (marketing). Merwin was named to the first team for the third time in her career, while Linnen received her second first-team honor.
Senior Abby Kaufman (exercise physiology) earned her third career first-team recognition. Classmate Erica Fontaine (strategic communications) also was honored for the third time, landing on the first team for the second consecutive year, while Chloe Cluchey (management) garnered her first career Academic All-Big 12 honor.
Junior Sydney Marler (marketing) was named to the first team for the second time in her career.
Additionally, sophomores Esperanza Abarca (exercise physiology), Kendra Combs (sport management) and Rachel Hornung (exercise physiology) collected their first career awards, as they landed on the Academic All-Big 12 Rookie Team a year ago.
In total, 35 gymnasts earned recognitions. The first team is comprised of 33 selections, while two members were represented on the second team. Oklahoma led the way with 11 honorees. Iowa State had eight selections, while affiliate member Denver had seven.
First team members consist of those who have maintained a 3.20 GPA or higher, while the second team selections hold a 3.00-3.19 GPA.
To qualify, student-athletes must maintain a 3.00 GPA or higher, either cumulative or the two previous semesters, and must have participated in 20 percent of their team’s scheduled contests. Freshmen and transfers are not eligible in their first year of academic residence. Senior student-athletes who have participated for a minimum of two years and meet all the criteria except percent of participation also are eligible.