Scots Women’s Swim and Dive receive All-American Academic Honors




On Feb 3 the Alma College Women’s Swim and Dive team was named as a CSCAA All-American team for the Fall 2022 semester with a combined GPA of 3.6.

“I am so proud of the women’s team in and out of the pool, their ability to balance academics, practice, competitions and still ha ve time to have fun . . . I have the utmost respect for all the women and their hard work” said Nick Polzin head coach of the swim and dive team.

Not only did the women get the highest academic honors nationally in the swim circuit, they also had the highest GPA in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA), where they compete.

“It’s never easy being a student athlete at a Division 3 level,” said Grace Ludema (26’). “I’ve only been here for one semester and made academics my number one priority, sometimes it would be so much easier to come back after practice and just go to sleep, but the standard that the women’s team has for their academics is a driving force for my academic performance.”

This isn’t the first time that the Alma College Swim and Dive team has been in the academic spotlight. The Women’s team received the same CSCAA Academic award for their performance in Fall 2020

“Being a part of two all American squads is an honor, the first one [in 2020] was a challenge, because it was my first semester here at Alma. Classes were online and it was hard at times to find the motivation to put in the effort with a busy swim schedule,” said Abby Taylor (24’).

The men’s Swim and Dive team is also looking to match what the women’s team has been doing both in and out of the pool.

“Seeing the way that the women balance their swim and school is inspiring,” said Eli Mull (26’). “I could see the men’s team becoming the academic weapons that the women are. I see a bright future for the men in the pool and in the classroom. Good grades and winning meets are no doubt in our future.”

The women’s team had an impressive 3.6 GPA as a group which is .6 over the minimum 3.0 needed collectively to receive the award. The women showed their drive competing exhaustively twice a day starting with practice at 6 AM followed by class and another practice later, leaving them with little time for school work. Impressively they still found a way.

The women’s activity in the classroom also reflects what coach Nick Polzin preaches in his team values.

“The values I build this team on are dependability, respect and growth. The women have exceeded my expectations challenging themselves to improve and grow in the classroom, at practices and in life. They have motivation and discipline and make sure everyday is dedicated to improving,” said Polzin.

Even though the lady Scots have ended their season in the pool this past weekend at the MIAA championships with season and personal best times, they will continue to work hard in the classroom and look to receive national honors yet again.

National Girls & Women in Sports Day



On Jan 28., Alma College celebrated the 37th annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day during a women’s basketball victory and a women’s swim meet both against Kalamazoo College.

National Girls and Women in Sports Day is a celebration of females in all levels of sports put on by the Women’s Sport Foundation and colleges all around the United States.

Even though there are plenty of influential female athletes to look up to, there is still a gender gap existing in the world of athletics.

According to the University of Minnesota report, in the media, women make up 40 percent of professional athletes, but only four percent of media coverage is dedicated to women’s sports.

According to National Public Radio, in 2022, only 24 percent of institutions’ athletic budget went tow ards women’s sports, and only 16 percent of scholarship funds were allotted to women’s sports. This is 179 million dollars less than the funds allotted to men.

Even before college, there are fewer opportunities for women in high school sports. With 1.4 million fewer opportunities in high school sports than men, it makes sense why girls are twice as likely to drop out of sports by the age of fourteen.

Thankfully, there is a lot being done to change this. This year’s National Girls and Women in Sports Day–coming after the 50 year anniversary of Title IX –looked to kick off the next 50 years of equality and opportunity for all.

Every year, Alma College and schools across the United States team up with the Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF) topromote female excellence in sports.

“At the moment, there is an under-representation and appreciation for women in the sports industry, and the Women’s Sport Foundation look to be catalysts of change,” said Abby Haag (‘25).

“[The WSF is] the ally, advocate and catalyst for tomorrow’s leaders. We exist to enable girls and women to reach their potential in sport and life. Our mission is to enable all girls and women to reach their potential in sports and life… Sure, that’s a long way to go but we’re not gonna stop until we get there,” said Billie Jean King, founder of the Women’s Sport Foundation.

Here at Alma College, not only was there a swim meet and a basketball doubleheader, but in the morning the Alma College Dance team hosted a clinic for 30 girls, there was an open gym session where kids could try out various sports with student athletes and there was an alumni reception where former female athletes came and received recognition for their contributions, too.

“I’m always celebrating women in sports every day of the year, and on Saturday it was great to see past, present and future Scots come together to celebrate National Girls and Women in Sports Day,” said Kiana Verdugo, Associate Athletic Director for Operations and Compliance and Senior Woman Administrator.

During the week of Jan. 28, colleges and organizations around the United States are hosting events with the WSF that promote the next generation of female athletes. For more information about the WSF and the events of this year’s National Girls and Women in Sports Day, visit their website at https://www. womenssportsfoundation. org/.

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