The Hope College women’s and men’s swimming & diving teams have been named to a record group of College Swimming Coaches Association of America Scholar All-America Teams for the 2015 winter semester.

The Flying Dutch tied for eighth-highest grade point average among women’s teams in NCAA Division III at 3.63, while the Flying Dutchmen recorded a 3.15 GPA.  To be selected a CSCAA Scholar All-America Team, a team must achieve a GPA of 3.00 or higher during the semester.

Also, junior diver Sarah Sheridan of Richmond, Indiana (Richmond HS), and sophomore swimmer Molly Meyer of South Bend, Indiana (John Adams HS), were among a record of 810 swimmers and divers to the individual Scholar All-America Teams. To qualify, individuals must achieve a GPA of 3.50 higher and compete at their respective national championship meets.

The team academic honor marks the sixth time in seven seasons and the second time in a row that both of coach John Patnott’s Flying Dutch and Flying Dutchmen teams have earned Scholar All-America distinction.

Achieving Scholar All-America Team stats is important to both Hope teams, Patnott said.

“We, the coaches, and of course the college, stress the importance of academics and to stay on top class work on a weekly, almost daily basis. The student/athletes are here first and foremost for an education and swimming & diving falls somewhere in their priorities below academics,” Patnott said. “Keeping perspective is an important part of life, and we want our athletes to begin to learn that while participating for the team. 

“Additionally, the teams’ academic success shows incoming freshmen that it is possible to be a successful at academics and athletes. Our registrar, Carol De Jong, and academic success center are also a large part of helping the student-athletes stay focused.”

A total of 406 collegiate swimming & diving programs across NCAA and NAIA divisions claimed CSCAA academic recognition for at least one of their teams.

Joel Shinofield, CSCAA’s executive director, is proud of this group of honorees.

“It doesn’t really matter what level teams compete, swimmers and divers devote incredible time and effort into their sports,” Shinofield said. “It’s evident that discipline carries over into the classroom.”