Anton McKee, Sarah Gibson Highlight CoSIDA’s Division I Academic All-American Teams

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

University of Alabama senior swimmer Anton McKee and Texas A&M University senior swimmer Sarah Gibson headline the 2017 Academic All-America® Division I Men’s and Women’s At-Large Teams, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).

McKee and Gibson have been selected as the 2017 CoSIDA Academic All-America® Team Members of the Year for the Division I Men’s and Women’s At-Large programs, respectively. The at-large teams for the Academic All-America® program include the sports of fencing, golf, gymnastics, ice hockey, lacrosse, rifle, skiing, swimming & diving, tennis and water polo for both men and women, as well as beach volleyball, bowling, crew and field hockey for women, and volleyball and wrestling for men.

McKee, who compiled a perfect 4.0 G.P.A. as a management information systems major, is a repeat selection as the Academic All-America® Men’s At-Large Team Member of the Year, becoming the fifth student-athlete to earn that honor twice, and the first since Stanford wrestler Nick Amuchastegui in 2011 and 2012.

McKee is also a rare three-time CoSIDA Academic All-America® selection, earning first-team honors for the second year in a row after collecting third-team accolades in 2015. A native of Iceland, McKee was an 11-time All-American and three-time Southeastern Conference champion while competing in breaststroke, freestyle, individual medley and medley relay events, notably finishing in the top five at the NCAA Championships in his specialty, the 200-meter breaststroke, during each of his four seasons at Alabama, capped by a runner-up finish in 2017. The reigning SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year, McKee helped the Crimson Tide to NCAA top-10 finishes the past three seasons, marking the first time Alabama has pulled off that feat since 1981-83.

Gibson is a two-time Academic All-America® selection, appearing on the first team for the second year in a row. The San Antonio, Texas, resident maintained a 4.0 G.P.A. as a biomedical engineering major at Texas A&M. Gibson is the second Aggie to earn Academic All-America® Team Member of the Year honors in any sport, and the first since 1987, when football standout (and 2003 Academic All-America® Hall of Fame selection) Kip Corrington received that distinction.

In the pool, Gibson was a nine-time All-American and won seven SEC titles during her career, competing in the butterfly, freestyle and medley relay events. She was named the SEC Swimmer of the Meet and earned the SEC Commissioner’s Trophy for high-point honors in 2017, helping Texas A&M to its second consecutive SEC crown. The SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year then played a key role in leading the Aggies to a third-place finish at the NCAA Championships, the best showing in program history.

Nearly two-thirds (27) of the 45 student-athletes on the 2017 CoSIDA Academic All-America® Division I Men’s At-Large Team earned at least a 3.90 G.P.A., with 16 compiling a perfect 4.0 G.P.A. or higher. The 15 first-team members had an average G.P.A. of 3.91, including six student-athletes with a 4.0 G.P.A.

McKee leads a plethora of swimmers that made the list. On the first team, Navy’s Ryan Bailey (3.98, Operations Research), Texas’ PJ Dunne (3.99, Biochemistry/pre-med), NC State’s Anton Ipsen (4.00, industrial engineering), Alabama’s Luke Kaliszak (3.93, human perf. exercise science), Connor Oslin (3.92, biology [pre-med]), Pavel Romanov (4.00, economics/finance), Cal’s Ryan Murphy (3.54, business administration), and Michigan’s PJ Ransford (4.00, mechanical engineering).

Murphy and Oslin appeared on the CoSIDA Academic All-America® First Team for the second year in a row, with Murphy garnering second-team accolades and Oslin making the third team in 2015. Ransford and Romanov received first-team recognition this year after earning spots on the Academic All-America® Second Team a season ago, while Bailey moved up to the first team this year following placement on the Academic All-America® Third Team in 2016.

Other swimmers that made the second and third teams include Purdue’s Marat Amaltdinov (3.81, economics), Gardner-Webb’s Connor Bos (4.00, business) and South Dakota State’s Weston Christensen (3.94, civil engineering). The third team included South Carolina’s Jonathan Boland (3.98, exercise science), Georgia Tech’s Robert Borowicz (4.00, computer science), and Cincinnati’s Connor Davis (3.96, neuroscience and psychology).

On the women’s side, more than two-thirds (32) of the 46 members of the 2017 CoSIDA Academic All-America® Division I Women’s At-Large Team posted at least a 3.90 G.P.A., including 21 student-athletes with a spotless 4.0 G.P.A. The 15 first-team members registered an average G.P.A. of 3.91, with more than half (nine) logging a 4.0 G.P.A.

There are 16 student-athletes on this year’s Academic All-America® Division I Women’s At-Large Team that are two-time Academic All-America® choices, including 10 on the first team, which is led by Gibson. The other swimmers on the first team who earned their second Academic All-America® honors are University of Kentucky senior Danielle Galyer (4.00, political science and psychology) and University of Georgia senior swimmer Chantal Van Landeghem (4.00, psychology). The women’s first team also includes a plethora of swimmers including USC’s Anika Apostalon (3.92, psychology), Texas’ Madisyn Cox (3.78, neuroscience/pre-med) and Stanford’s Simone Manuel (3.48, communication).

Gibson and Galyer are two-time first-team selections, receiving top honors the past two seasons. Van Landeghem also made the jump to the first team this season after earning a place on the Academic All-America® Third Team in 2015, then taking the 2016 season off to compete for her native Canada at the Rio Olympics.

Boise State’s Brittany Aoyama (3.96, health science) was the only swimmer named to the second team. West Virginia’s Amelie Currat (4.00, finance), North Dakota’s Steph Frey (4.00, communication science and disorders), Missouri’s Lauren Reedy (3.91, nutritional sciences) and Minnesota’s Yu Zhou (3.61, communication studies) were named to the third team.

The above press release was provided by College Sports Information Directors of America.

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Author: Andy Ross

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Andy Ross is the new man on board at Swimming World. He is based out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida at the International Swimming Hall of Fame. He is a 2017 graduate of Southern Illinois University where he graduated cum laude.

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