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LU Ranked No. 3 among NWCA All-Academic Teams

May 13, 2008
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Liberty's wrestling program finished the year ranked No. 3 academically according to the National Wrestling Coaches Association All-Academic Team.

Liberty's wrestling program finished the year ranked No. 3 academically according to the National Wrestling Coaches Association All-Academic Team.

2007-08 National Wrestling Coaches Association All-Academic Team

National distinctions continue to roll in for Liberty's wrestling program, and this time it is for the team's hard work in the classroom. The National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) recently released its 2007-08 All-Academic Wrestling Team, with Liberty ranked No. 3 nationally with a team GPA of 3.286.

Liberty is coming off a season on the mats where the Flames captured their second-straight NCAA East Regional title, while sending a program-best six grapplers to the NCAA National Championship. Individually, Tim Harner and Chad Porter advanced to the "Sweet 16" at the national championship, and Porter recorded the program's first-ever victory in the championship bracket.

In the classroom, Liberty finished the season ranked No. 3, bested only by American and Duke, who posted matching 3.335 team GPAs to lead the nation. The Flames finished the season ranked just ahead of No. 4 Stanford (3.269) and a quintet of Ivy League programs in Princeton (No. 5/3.209), Brown (No. 7/3.156), Columbia (No. 8/3.114), Harvard (No. 15/3.018) and Cornell (No. 21/2.943).

Individually, four Liberty grapplers were named to the NWCA All-Academic Team, as Christian Smith, Patrick Walker, Porter and Harner were honored for their intellectual prowess. Defining the word student-athlete, all four also claimed NCAA East Regional titles and competed for Liberty at the NCAA National Championship.

Smith is making his second-consecutive appearance on the team with a 3.83 GPA as he is pursuing his MBA, while Walker (3.93/pastoral leadership), Porter (3.36/biology) and Harner (3.36/sport management) each garnered their first career NWCA academic honor.

Liberty was one of four programs to have four wrestlers named to the NWCA All-Academic Team, joining American, Duke and Iowa on the 83-member team.

The wrestling team is the second Liberty athletic program to be ranked nationally for its academic efforts. Last year, the women's basketball program was ranked No. 7 nationally by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association.

2007-08 National Wrestling Coaches Association
All-Academic Wrestling Team


1 American 3.335
Duke 3.335
3 Liberty 3.286
4 Stanford 3.269
5 Princeton 3.209
6 Gardner-Webb 3.175
7 Brown 3.156
8 Columbia 3.114
9 Campbell 3.109
10 Northern Illinois 3.100
11 Davidson 3.082
12 George Mason 3.062
13 Cal State-Bakersfield 3.060
14 Northwestern 3.038
15 Harvard 3.018
16 Army 3.012
17 North Dakota State 2.973
18 Northern Colorado 2.963
19 The Citadel 2.960
20 Lock Haven 2.949
21 Cornell 2.943
22 Eastern Michigan 2.934
23 Michigan State 2.933
Navy 2.933
25 Central Michigan 2.922
26 Ohio State 2.919
27 Duquesne 2.907
28 Oklahoma State 2.904
29 Penn 2.901
30 Michigan 2.894