The Colorado Mesa University (CMU) Swim and Dive program has been riding a wave of success, not only in their athletic performances but also in their academic endeavors. After an impressive year that saw both the Men's and Women's teams achieve podium finishes at the NCAA DII National Championships, they are now gaining recognition for their exceptional academic achievements.
For the 2023 spring semester, both the Men's and Women's teams were honored as the College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America Scholar All-American Teams. This recognition speaks to the program's dedication to education, instilled by their coach and embraced by the athletes.
Gavin Anderson, a Redshirt Sophomore, emphasized the significance of maintaining good academic standing alongside athletic pursuits, stating, "If you're ineligible, you can't swim, so you have to have that good academic standing, no matter what." This mindset has been fostered by the coach, who emphasizes the importance of education and recruits ambitious individuals who strive for excellence both in the pool and in their studies.
The academic success of the teams is not a coincidence. The Women's Team achieved an impressive 3.53 GPA in both the Spring and Fall Semesters, while the Men's Team achieved a commendable 3.26 GPA in the Spring. Coach Mickey Wender attributes this achievement to the team's academic mentorship program, known as the TAM program.
This initiative pairs upperclassmen or high-achieving students with freshmen and underclassmen who may be facing academic challenges, creating a supportive environment for academic growth. Ellie Wilke, a dedicated sophomore swimmer, praised the team's collaborative approach, saying, "We have sheets of tutoring opportunities where we can help each other out on those classes." This teamwork and support system have contributed to the sustained success of the Women's Team, which has now received recognition for an impressive 20 consecutive semesters.
Mavericks: Pursuing Excellence On and Off the Field
With such high academic standards, the challenge lies in maintaining motivation and excellence in both the pool and the classroom. However, the Mavericks team is up for the task.
Coach Wender expressed pride in the team's accomplishments, highlighting their ambitious academic pursuits, including aspiring doctors among the student-athletes. The recognition serves as motivation for the team to continue striving for greatness and further improvement.
Ellie Wilke shared her excitement, emphasizing the team's relentless work ethic and determination. She stated, "I'm super, super happy that we got recognized. And frankly, I think it's just going to be motivated to keep getting better and better because that's just how our team is." The team's mentality of perseverance and constant growth fuels their success, making them proud ambassadors of CMU's commitment to both athletic and academic excellence.
In conclusion, the CMU Swim and Dive teams' outstanding academic achievements demonstrate their commitment to education and the pursuit of excellence. With their remarkable GPA performances and a strong support system in place, they have proven that their success extends beyond the pool.
The recognition they have received serves as a testament to their hard work and will undoubtedly inspire them to reach even greater heights in the future.