YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. - UC San Diego diver Luke Calkins was named Wednesday to the 2014 Capital One Academic All-America® Division II Men’s At-Large First Team, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
The award recognizes the nation’s top student-athletes for combined excellence both athletically and in the classroom. Calkins had advanced to the Capital One Academic All-America® ballot on the basis of being chosen for a third successive year as a first-team Academic All-District® honoree last month for District 8.
Calkins, a fourth-year senior, boasts a 3.94 grade-point average and will graduate later this month with a degree in mechanical engineering. He is now a three-time Academic All-American, with a repeat first-team nod after making the third team as a sophomore in 2012. Further highlights among a slew of academic honors are the Elite 89 award, given by the NCAA for having the top GPA among all competitors at the 2014 NCAA Division II Men’s Swimming & Diving Championships, as well as the prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.
A product of Kansas City, Kan. (Shawnee Mission North HS), Calkins made his fourth trip to the NCAA Championships in March, earning All-America status for the first time on the last day of his collegiate career with an eighth-place finish in the three-meter springboard competition on March 15 in Geneva, Ohio. Two days prior, Calkins was 11th in one-meter diving, picking up All-America honorable mention for the fourth time in three years. He previously swept both events at the 2014 Pacific Collegiate Swimming & Diving Conference (PCSC) Championships in La Mirada in February, marking his first league titles. Calkins was the PCSC Championships Male Diver of the Meet, and subsequently was voted the PCSC Male Diver of the Year.
Student-athletes must be in at least their second season, hold a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.30 and be a starter or important contributor athletically to be eligible for Capital One Academic All-America® consideration.
The Capital One Academic All-America® men’s at-large program includes the sports of fencing, golf, gymnastics, ice hockey, lacrosse, rifle, skiing, swimming and diving, tennis, water polo and wrestling.
Junior Ruben Gimenez, a two-time national-champion swimmer at the University of Bridgeport with a 3.98 GPA in computer science, was tabbed the Capital One Academic All-America® of the Year for Division II men’s at-large.
Calkins is one of four swimmers and divers on the men’s first team, and one of just two three-time selections out of 15 honorees. He is the fourth UCSD student-athlete to garner Academic All-America® distinction for the 2013-14 academic year, joining soccer players Alec Arsht, Andisheh Bagheri and Cassie Callahan.
With freshmen ineligible for these awards, Calkins was an Academic All-American for all three years in which he was able to be. He is only the fourth Triton to be a three-time Academic All-American, along with fellow diver Adam Burgasser (1994-96), soccer player Joel Kosakoff (1995-97) and runner Audrey Sung (2001-03). UCSD’s first Academic All-American was volleyball player Ellen Chi back in 1987.