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May 21, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - For the second consecutive year, Penn State men's gymnast Miguel Pineda (Galloway, Ohio) has been honored on the CoSIDA/Capital One Academic All-District First Team in recognition of his standout efforts in the classroom and in the gym. The senior will advance to the national ballot and have the opportunity to earn his second career academic all-America honor.
Pineda possesses a 3.98 grade point average in his chosen field of study, biology, ranking in the top one-half percent of his class. A two-time Big Ten Distinguished Scholar recipient and three-time CGA First Team All-American Scholar Athlete, Pineda was instrumental in the men's gymnastics squad earning back-to-back Varsity `S' Awards, an honor presented to the Penn State men's and women's teams with the highest team GPA. He is also one of 10 national finalists for the 2012 Arthur Ashe Sports Scholar Award.
In 2011, he was recognized on the Capital One Academic All-America® Men's At-Large First Team and received the prestigious NCAA Elite 88 Award at the National Collegiate Championships.
Pineda, a recipient of the 2012 Wayne Duke Postgraduate Award and Penn State's Ernest B. McCoy Award, plans to attend medical school following graduation with the goal of becoming an orthopedic surgeon.
Pineda, a 2012 finalist for the prestigious Nissen-Emery Award, played an integral role in Penn State's success this season, captaining a Nittany Lion squad that placed third at the National Collegiate Championships and boasted seven All-Americans, the program's most since the 1959 national championship team. He served as a cornerstone of the nation's No. 1 still rings line-up, ending the season individually ranked No. 4 in the event with two title wins and seven top three finishes. Pineda also made significant contributions in the parallel bars.
Earlier this month, Pineda qualified for the 2012 Visa Championships, an event which features the country's best gymnasts vying for national titles and spots on the U.S. National Team. Performances at the Visa Championships, which are scheduled for June 7-10 at Chaifetz Arena in St. Louis, Mo., will also decide who advances to the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials in San Jose, Calif., where the U.S. Olympic team will be determined.