Sixty-Three Nittany Lions Earn Winter Academic All-Big Ten Recognition
March 28, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Representing seven winter sports, 63 Penn State student-athletes have been recognized with Academic All-Big Ten honors. Penn State's 63 honorees brings the Nittany Lions' all-time total to 3,915 during the 18 years of the conference academic program.
Penn State's 63 honorees ranked second among the 12 Big Ten institutions.
Penn State's academic all-conference award winners and their respective teams excelled both academically and athletically. Several student-athletes who were named Academic All-Big Ten honorees also earned recognition on the field.
A first team All-Big Ten selection by the conference media and an NABC All-District 7 second team honoree, men's basketball's Tim Frazier (Houston, Texas) led the Big Ten in assists per game (6.2) and finished second in scoring (18.8) and steals (2.4) while leading the conference with 17 20-point games. The junior guard's 198 assists on the year set the Penn State season record.
The men's gymnastics team is currently ranked No. 1 after posting the nation's highest team scores in each of the last two weeks of the 2012 regular season. Senior team captain Miguel Pineda (Galloway, Ohio), a 2011 All-American on still rings, won the 2012 Wayne Duke Postgraduate Award and Penn State's Ernest B. McCoy Award and is a finalist for the Nissen-Emery Award. Junior Scott Rosenthal (Clearfield, Pa.) is ranked No. 1 in the nation in the still rings while junior Felix Aronovich (Kiryat Bialik, Israel), the reigning CGA National Gymnast of the Week, has qualified for the 2012 Olympics for his native Israel.
The men's swimming & diving team recently returned from the 2012 NCAA Championships, putting together one of the best years in program history. The Nittany Lions earned 17th place with 54 points behind five All-Americans, including senior Scott Marino (Scotch Plains, N.J.) and sophomore Shane Austin (Kennett Square, Pa.).
The No. 13-ranked women's gymnastics team was recently awarded the program's 38th berth to the NCAA Regional Championships, receiving a No. 3 seed. At last week's Big Ten Championships, junior Sharaya Musser (Colorado Springs, Colo.) was named the 2012 Big Ten Gymnast of the Year and earned first team All-Big Ten honors while junior Madison Merriam (Gaithersburg, Md.) received second team All-Big Ten accolades. Senior Natalie Ettl (Waukesha, Wis.) was a 2012 recipient of Penn State's John W. Oswald Award.
Women's swimmers sophomore Mackenzie Powers (Sycamore, Ill.), senior Katherine Pulos (Rosemont, Pa.), senior Erin Thomas (Bangor, Maine), who joined Pineda as a 2012 Ernest B. McCoy Award winner, and junior Paige Whitmire (Lederach, Pa.) earned first team All-Big Ten honors, helping the Nittany Lions to one of their best showings ever at the Big Ten Championships. The quartet, along with Merritt Krawczyk (Kingwood, Texas) and Chelsea Weedman (Poway, Calif.), qualified for and had a strong competition at the 2012 NCAA Championships.
The Big Ten recognized a total of 615 winter sports student-athletes. To be eligible for Academic All-Big Ten selection, student-athletes must be letterwinners who are in at least their second academic year at their institution and carry a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.
Penn State student-athletes continue to graduate well above their peers nationwide, earning record-setting academic performances, according to statistical information released by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The NCAA's annual study of institutions nationwide revealed that Penn State student-athletes at the University Park campus earned a Graduation Success Rate (GSR) of 88 percent compared to the 80 percent average for all Division I institutions for students entering from 2001-02 through 2004-05. The 88 percent figure was third to Northwestern (96) and Illinois (89) among Big Ten Conference institutions.
Listed below are Penn State's 2012 winter Academic All-Big Ten honorees by sport.
Men's Swimming & Diving
Women's Swimming & Diving