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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.– A trio of Penn State standout student-athletes have been selected CoSIDA At-Large Academic All-Americans® as announced by the College Sports Information Directors of America.
Nittany Lion wrestler Zain Retherford (Benton, Pa.) was selected a first-team CoSIDA At-Large Academic All-American®. Teammate Jason Nolf (Yatesboro, Pa.) and women’s hockey team MVP Laura Bowman (Minnetonka. Minn.) were named second-team CoSIDA At-Large Academic All-Americans®.
Penn State’s three CoSIDA At-Large Academic All-Americans® are tied for fifth nationally among all Division I institutions with Southern California, Stanford and West Virginia.
The trio give the Nittany Lions five CoSIDA Academic All-Americans® in 2016-17, joining Tyler Yazujian (football) and Haleigh Washington (women’s volleyball). The five honorees are the most for the Nittany Lions since having seven in 2012-13.
Penn State’s 198 all-time CoSIDA Academic All-Americans® rank No. 5 among all NCAA institutions and No. 4 among Division I schools.
Retherford, a junior, and Nolf, a sophomore, helped lead the Nittany Lion wrestlers to their sixth NCAA team title in the last seven years this past March. They were among five individual NCAA Champions for Coach Cael Sanderson’s squad. Retherford is the fourth first-team CoSIDA Academic All-America® under Sanderson at Penn State and the eighth overall.
A senior, Bowman is the first member of the Penn State women’s hockey program to earn CoSIDA Academic All-America® accolades. The team’s first season was 2012-13.
Retherford, owning a 3.72 grade-point average in finance, was a 2016 second team CoSIDA Academic All-American® and is a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-District pick. He is a two-time National Wrestling Coaches Association first team national All-Academic selection and a two-time first team Academic All-Big Ten honoree.
Retherford’s athletic accomplishments this year include: Named the 2017 Hodge Award as the nation’s top collegiate wrestler; named the NCAA’s Most Dominant Wrestler; earned his second straight NCAA individual national title (149); became a three-time All-American; was the 2017 NCAA Championship Outstanding Wrestler; became a two-time Big Ten Champion; was the 2017 Big Ten Championship Outstanding Wrestler; earned his second first team All-Big Ten selection; was the 2017 InterMat Wrestler of the Year; went 28-0 this year with 17 pins, seven tech falls and a major; moved his career record to 95-3; and brings a 63-match win streak into his senior season.
Bowman, who had a 3.95 grade point average in biochemistry and molecular biology, is a member of the Schreyer Honors College. Earlier this spring, Bowman was named a first team CoSIDA At-Large Academic All-District honoree for the second consecutive year. She is a three-time member of the All-College Hockey America (CHA) Academic Team, a two-time Big Ten Distinguished Scholar and a two-time first team Academic All-Big Ten selection. Bowman graduated in May.
Bowman’s athletic accomplishments this year include: Became Penn State’s first-ever All-CHA First Team honoree; netted a program-best 32 points and 18 goals in 2016-17; added 14 assists on the year; ended the season tied for 19th in the nation in goals scored; became the first member of Penn State women’s ice hockey’s 100 career point club; was the 2016-17 team captain and team Most Valuable Player.
Nolf, with a 3.75 GPA in kinesiology, is a two-time NWCA first team national All-Academic selection and a two-time first team Academic All-Big Ten honoree. Earlier this spring, Nolf was named a first team CoSIDA At-Large Academic All-District pick.
Nolf’s athletic accomplishments this year include: Named the 2017 Big Ten Wrestler of the Year; won the NCAA individual championship at 157; became a two-time NCAA finalist; became a two-time All-American; won the 2017 Big Ten title at 157; earned first team All-Big Ten laurels; was Big Ten Wrestler of the Week (1/10/17); went 27-0 this season with 14 pins, eight technical falls and three majors; heads into his junior year with a 60-2 career mark including 29 pins, 19 techs and eight majors.
The Academic All-America® Teams are selected by the 3,000-plus members of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). To be eligible, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve and maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.30 on a scale of 4.00.
(For the complete CoSIDA Academic All-America® At-Large teams, go to www.CoSIDA.com).