Ten members of the West Virginia University gymnastics team were named 2020-21 Scholastic All-Americans by the Women’s Collegiate Gymnastics Association (WCGA), as announced on Wednesday.
Since 1987, Mountaineer gymnasts have earned 169 WCGA Academic All-America awards. In addition to the team’s individual honors, the squad’s grade-point average (GPA) of 3.67 ranks No. 37 in the nation.
“I’m very happy with our team’s academic performance this past year,” West Virginia coach Jason Butts said. “They showed continued improvement in a year full of challenges and unknowns. Just like in competition, I will continue to raise the bar for the team when it comes to academic performance. Success in the classroom prepares these student-athletes for life after athletics, and I want all of them to graduate from WVU with the tools necessary to achieve their future goals.”
Recent graduate McKenna Linnen (marketing) was named to the team for the fourth consecutive year, and fellow graduate Michelle Waldron (marketing) earned her first career honor.
Earning the recognition for the third straight season was Esperanza Abarca (art education), while Emily Holmes-Hackerd (exercise physiology), Abbie Pierson (exercise physiology) and Kianna Yancey (psychology) were recognized for the second time. Four other gymnasts – Chloe Asper (psychology), Ellen Collins (biology), Agatha Handono (exercise physiology) and Kiana Lewis (exercise physiology) – were named to the team for the first time in their careers.
To qualify for the exclusive honor, a gymnast must have a GPA of at least 3.50 for either the preceding academic year or have a cumulative GPA of 3.50 or higher at the nominating institution. Overall, there were 58 teams maintaining a GPA of 3.50 or better on a 4.0 scale, up from 53 teams last year. There were 223 gymnasts honored with a 4.0 GPA, while 1,059 student-athletes posted GPAs of 3.5 or better, marking the first time there have been over 1,000 honorees in the award’s history.
The WCGA is an advocate for women’s collegiate gymnastics. The association seeks to actively manage and develop the sport of women’s gymnastics at the collegiate level and works with the NCAA and USA Gymnastics in order to provide the best possibly experience for student-athletes.