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OC ranks in top 10 nationally in number of Academic All-Americans

Soccer player Trey Boykin was one of a school-record 11 OC student-athletes to earn Capital One Academic All-America status during the 2011-12 academic year.

OKLAHOMA CITY (July 23, 2012) – 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.”

Student-athletes representing men’s soccer, women’s basketball, men’s tennis, women’s tennis, men’s track and field/cross country and women’s track and field/cross country were among the 11 from OC who were honored on the Academic All-America teams, which were selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).

Six of OC’s honorees received first-team recognition. In all of OC’s athletic history before 2011-12, only six of the university’s student-athletes ever had achieved first-team Academic All-America status.

OC’s first-team selections during 2011-12 were 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-American 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.

The 2011-12 academic year was the first during which the Academic All-America teams were selected at the NCAA Division I, NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III and College Division levels after previously being selected at the University Division (NCAA Division I) and College Division (Divisions II and III and NAIA) levels.

Overall, Taylor (Ind.) led all universities with 20 Academic All-America selections, followed by Doane (Neb.) and Morningside (Iowa) with 19 each, Nebraska Wesleyan with 17, Embry-Riddle (Fla.) with 16, California (Pa.) with 13, Stanford and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with 12 each and OC, Azusa Pacific (Calif.), Central Methodist (Mo.), Northwestern (Iowa), Wayne State (Neb.) and Wingate (N.C.) with 11 each.