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Wrestling Boasts Top GPA, Breaks NWCA Record

The David G. Bunning Head Coach for Harvard Wrestling Jay Weiss and senior co-captain Andrew Knapp (photo courtesy of David Silverman).

The National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) announced its annual Division I All-Academic Top 30 Teams and the NWCA Individual All-Academic wrestling team for the 2010-11 wrestling season last week. For a second year in a row, Harvard held the top GPA in the nation, while NCAA All-American Walter Peppelman earned a spot on the All-Academic wrestling team for the first time.

On this year’s Individual All-Academic Team there are 93 total athletes, three NCAA Champions, five NCAA Runner-Ups, 28 All-Americans and 84 NCAA Qualifiers.

Harvard topped the team standings again, representing the Ivy League and the EIWA. After finishing first last year, the Crimson capitalized on their classroom success.

The NWCA All-Academic Team records go back to 1991, which until this year the 2001 Princeton team held the highest team GPA of 3.43. This year that was broken by two teams who hold the No.1 and No.2 spots respectively.

The Crimson led the pack with a team GPA of 3.5133, a significant increase from last year’s 3.3098. American followed close behind with a GPA of 3.48. Rounding out the top five teams were Columbia, South Dakota State and Old Dominion.

Ten of the 11 Division I Conferences are represented in the Top 30. The EIWA has the most teams with nine.

For teams to be eligible for consideration, the team GPA is comprised of 12 student-athletes, including the 10 wrestlers that were the entries in the NCAA tournament conference qualifier. If teams had less than 10 entries for their respective qualifier, they may fill those spots with wrestlers that competed in at least one varsity dual during the season.

Peppelman earned a spot on the All-Academic team for the first time in his early collegiate career. The government concentrator also earned Academic All-Ivy League honors earlier last month.

The Individual All-Academic Team also has qualifying standards by GPA and season record/accomplishment. Ninety-three wrestlers take this honor home with them; out of that group 84 of them competed at the 2011 NCAA Division I Championships in Philadelphia, Pa.