San Jose, Calif. - Six San Jose State women's gymnasts were recognized as Scholastic All-Americans by the National Association of College Gymnastics Coaches/Women (NACGC/W) and the Spartans team cumulative 3.41 GPA ranked No. 25 in the nation, head coach Wayne Wright announced.
"This type of recognition is extremely important for our program," Wright said. "It lets the public and our recruits know that academics are as important as athletics. Academic achievement is something that we always stress with recruits and our athletes. This recognition shows that we mean what we say when we use the term student-athlete."
The Spartans who received Scholastic All-American distinction from the NACGC/W were Julia Greer (Undeclared - 3.56 GPA),Cassandra Harrison (Occupational Therapy - 3.85 GPA), Shanice Howard (Kinesiology- 4.00), Victoria Lark (Child & Adolescent Development - 3.53), Karlene Simon (Environmental Studies - 3.94), and Lily Swann (Kinesiology - 4.00).
In order to receive Scholastic All-American recognition from the NACGC/W an athlete needs to maintain a minimum 3.5 GPA throughout the school year.
"I am extremely proud of the six athletes who were recognized for having a 3.5 or higher GPA," Wright said, "but I am equally proud of our entire team. This ranking was a complete team effort. All but two of our 15 gymnasts had higher than a 3.0 GPA and we finished as a team with a 3.41 GPA. The bar has been set academically. Now we'll strive to improve on that number and get the team cum to 3.5."
The team GPA rankings were led by Southeast Missouri State with an astounding 3.91 GPA. Southern Utah (3.80), Utah (3.76), Alabama (3.70) and Wisconsin-Lacrosse (3.66) rounded out the top-five. San Jose State's No. 25 ranking is the highest a Spartans women's gymnastics team has achieved.
"We have been ranked in the top-30 before, but this is the first time we cracked the top-25.," Wright said. "I always stress to our athletes that they need a 40-year plan not just a four-year plan. By that I mean the athletes have to take advantage of the opportunity that they are given and prepare themselves for the rest of their lives. Gymnastics is an ends to a means."