OC ranks in national top 10 for number of Academic All-Americans

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma Christian University ranked in the top 10 nationally among all higher education institutions with a school-record 11 Capital One Academic All-America selections during the 2011-12 academic year.

Oklahoma Christian’s total was tied for ninth overall, sixth among NAIA institutions and No. 1 among Oklahoma colleges and universities. OC was one of only 18 schools nationally that had at least 10 honorees. OC was a part of the Academic All-America award program’s College Division, which included NAIA, Canadian and two-year institutions.

OC’s success on the final Academic All-America list mirrored that of its athletic teams on the fields and courts of play. The university finished eighth in the Learfield Sports NAIA Directors’ Cup standings, which measure the overall success of an institution’s athletic program. OC captured two NAIA team championships (in men’s cross country and men’s tennis) in the same academic year for the first time in the university’s history.

During the 2011-12 academic year, OC student-athletes posted an average grade point average of 3.097.

“This is a big accomplishment for our university, athletic department and our student-athletes,” OC Athletic Director Curtis Janz said. “At OC, we strive to perform well in both the classroom and in our athletic programs and this is evidence that we are succeeding in that quest. To be included among the top 10 of all colleges and universities in the number of Academic All-Americans is a credit to our coaches, student-athletes and faculty and staff.”

Six of OC’s 11 honorees received first-team recognition: senior Katy Clift (women’s basketball), senior Renardy Guelfi (men’s tennis), junior Martin Poboril (men’s tennis), junior Brayden Barrientez (men’s track and field/cross country), junior Tracy Marshall (men’s track and field/cross country) and junior David McWilliams (men’s track and field/cross country).

Three OC student-athletes were second-team picks: senior Trey Boykin (men’s soccer), sophomore Lucie Sipkova (women’s tennis) and sophomore Austin Simkins (men’s track and field/cross country). Two others – senior Cady Block (women’s track and field/cross country) and senior Erin Sesemann (women’s track and field/cross country) – received third-team recognition.

The Academic All-America teams are voted on by CoSIDA members, based on a combination of academic and athletic success. To be eligible for the honor, a student-athlete must be a starter or key reserve, have a grade-point average of at least 3.30 on a 4.0 scale, reached sophomore academic and athletic status at his or her current institution and be nominated by the university’s sports information director.

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