University of California San Diego
Photo by: Ken Grosse/UCSD Athletics
Zach Yong following the final race of his four-year collegiate career at the NCAA Championships on March 11.
Bevy of Academic Honors for UCSD Swimmers and Divers
Release: Thursday 07/06/2017 

LA JOLLA, Calif. - The University of California San Diego men's and women's swimming and diving programs have seen a number of their student-athletes pick up academic distinction at the national and conference level in recent weeks.

On June 21, the UC San Diego women's squad gained College Swimming & Diving Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) Scholar All-America Team recognition for the 2017 winter term, while 12 Triton swimmers, seven women and five men, displayed the proper credentials to earn individual accolades from the CSCAA.

For the CSCAA Scholar All-America Team award, an average grade-point average of 3.00 or higher was required for the quarter or semester coinciding with a program's 2017 national championships. The 31 UCSD women posted a 3.02 GPA in winter, earning an eighth honor out of the last nine as a team from the CSCAA. They had previously achieved the necessary standard for the 2013 winter, 2013 fall, 2014 winter, 2015 winter, 2015 fall, 2016 winter and 2016 fall terms. A total of 75 women's squads in Division II were recognized.

Academically for individual honors, a GPA of 3.5 or higher for the 2017 winter term, or cumulative through the 2017 winter quarter, was sufficient to gain consideration. Athletically, student-athletes who competed at the 2017 NCAA Division II Swimming & Diving Championships in Birmingham, Ala., in March, were placed on the CSCAA Scholar All-America First Team, while those who achieved consideration qualifying standards but were not selected to participate at nationals, got honorable mentions.

Brooke Abrantes (San Diego/Santana HS), Jaimie Bryan, Kaitlyn Ritchey, Alex Rodman (Coronado/Coronado HS), Julia Toronczak (Santee/West Hills HS), Jayna Wittenbrink and Sarah Yao all earned spots on the CSCAA NCAA Division II Women's Scholar All-America First Team. Bryan is a three-time first-teamer, with Wittenbrink a repeat selection after an honorable mention as a freshman. Rodman made the second team a year ago under a slightly different format.

For the men, Michael Cohn (Solana Beach/Grossmont College) made the CSCAA NCAA Division II Men's Scholar All-America First Team for the third year in a row, joined by fellow senior Zach Yong. Trevor Jackson (Ramona/Ramona HS), Alejandro Ortiz and Austin Takeda picked up honorable mentions for the first time. Yong was a first-teamer as a freshman as well.

Founded in 1922, the CSCAA is the oldest organization of college coaches in America. It is dedicated to serving and providing leadership for the advancement of the sports of swimming and diving at the collegiate level.

Additionally, 26 UCSD student-athletes garnered Pacific Collegiate Swimming and Diving Conference (PCSC) All-Academic status for 2016-17 under the league's guidelines. Bryan, Cohn, Jackson, Toronczak, Wittenbrink, Yao and junior tri-captain Haley Murphy were first-teamers with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 and above through the academic year. Abrantes, Ortiz, Rodman, Yong, Gabriel Hernandez, Morgan King, Samuel Lee, Lily Maxfield, Lindsey Miller, CJ Pais and Garrett Tse are on the second team with averages ranging from 3.2-3.49. Honorable mentions, for 3.0-3.19, went to Takeda, Delainey Carlin (Carlsbad/Carlsbad HS), Haley Hamza, Julian Jacobs, Emily Lambert, Mike Nguyen, Derek Tanizaki-Hudson and Natalie Tang.

All are first-time honorees except for Bryan, Cohn, Jacobs, Tang and Yong. Bryan and Cohn are back-to-back first-teamers. In order to qualify, individuals must be classified as a sophomore, junior or senior.

Bryan, Cohn and Yong each boasted a perfect 4.0 GPA during the winter quarter, with Cohn doing so for the third consecutive year. Bryan and Cohn were also at 4.0 for the fall and spring terms.

David Marsh, who directed the U.S. Women's Olympic Team during the 2016 Rio Games, was named the new head coach of the UC San Diego men's and women's teams on June 27. The 2017-18 season begins in October.