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Liberty Swimming & Diving Posts 20th Best GPA in Nation

June 21, 2017  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Liberty Swimming & Diving Posts 20th Best GPA in Nation

Official CSCAA Scholar All-America Team Release

Official CSCAA Individual Scholar All-Americans

After earning a program-best 3.60 team GPA during the spring 2017 semester, the Liberty swimming & diving team was included on the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) Scholar All-America Team list. Additionally, four Lady Flames have been named CSCAA Individual Scholar All-Americans.

Liberty's four Scholar All-Americans are highlighted by sophomore Alicia Finnigan, who made the first team. Senior Victoria Tschoke, junior Rachel Hoeve and freshman Brittany Weiss received honorable mention. This marks the fifth year in a row that Liberty has placed exactly four athletes among the ranks of CSCAA Individual Scholar All-Americans.

The Individual Scholar All-America award is given to college swimmers and divers who have earned a 3.5 cumulative GPA or higher, and have qualified for and competed at the national championship. Honorable mention is given to college swimmers and divers with a 3.5 GPA or higher who attained a "B" standard but were not invited to the national championship.

The CSCAA also announced its Scholar All-America Team awards, which were received by a record 720 programs, spanning high school, NCAA, NAIA and NJCAA. In order to qualify for the award, a team must have achieved a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher during the previous semester.

As a team, the Lady Flames earned a program-record cumulative team GPA of 3.60 in the spring of 2017. Liberty's GPA is tied for the 20th best in NCAA Division I this semester, and eclipses the previous program record of 3.47, set in the fall of 2015. Liberty is one of seven Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association (CCSA) teams to appear on the most recent Scholar All-America Team list.

Liberty has now earned CSCAA academic honors as a team during each of the past 12 semesters, dating back to the fall 2011 semester.

A native of Sugar Land, Texas, Finnigan is pursuing a major in interdisciplinary studies. She capped her season with an appearance in the 2017 NCAA Division I Women's Swimming & Diving Championships. Finnigan set the CCSA record in the 200 fly at the Bulldog Last Chance Meet, 1:56.15. She won the CCSA 200 fly final, one of three events (also 100 fly, 500 free) in which she earned podium finishes at this year's conference meet.

An exercise science major from Apex, N.C., Tschoke is the third athlete in program history to earn three Scholar All-America awards (Meghan Babcock, 2013-15; Kendall Hough, 2014-16). She completed a career in which she became the first swimmer at Liberty to place in the top eight at the CCSA Championship 12 times. She swam a B cut in the 200 backstroke, 1:58.14, before placing second in the event's A Final.

Hoeve, a criminal justice major from Zeeland, Mich., continues to stand out as a sprinter. She earned fourth place in the 50 free at the CCSA Championships, clocking a personal-best, NCAA B cut time of 22.76 in the A Final. Also a strong contributor on relays, she anchored Liberty's winning 200 medley relay in 22.11 at the conference meet, as Liberty won in 1:39.32. She also placed in the top eight in both the 100 free and 100 back.

A business administration major from Sellersville, Pa., Weiss made an immediate impact on the Liberty roster. She was named the Most Outstanding Freshman Swimmer of the CCSA Meet. Weiss won the CCSA 100 backstroke title, swimming a program-record, NCAA B cut time of 53.42. She also earned a B cut in the 100 fly, finishing fifth at the CCSA Championships in 54.15. Weiss is the third Liberty freshman all-time to earn Scholar All-America distinction, joining Finnigan (2016) and Laura Day (2013).

Top NCAA Division I Women's Swimming & Diving GPA's
Spring 2017

1) Brown – 3.77
2T) Northern Iowa – 3.71
2T) South Carolina – 3.71
4) Grand Canyon – 3.70
5) Bowling Green – 3.69
6) Iona – 3.67
7) Boise State – 3.66
8T) American – 3.65
8T) Arizona State – 3.65
8T) Ball State – 3.65
8T) Harvard – 3.65
12) SMU – 3.64
13T) Marshall – 3.63
13T) Stanford – 3.63
15T) Campbell – 3.62
15T) Loyola (Md.) – 3.62
17T) Gardner-Webb – 3.61
17T) Nebraska – 3.61
17T) Seattle – 3.61
20T) Liberty - 3.60
20T) William & Mary - 3.60