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.