Sixty-three West Virginia University freshmen student-athletes were named to the 2020-21 Academic All-Big 12 Rookie Team, the conference announced on Friday.
Eight Mountaineers were selected to the team with a 4.0 grade point average, including Chloe Adler (women’s soccer), Zach Frazier (football), Lilly McCarthy (women’s soccer), Kaelyn McClain (women’s swimming and diving), Molly McGhin (rifle), Abby Reardon (women’s swimming and diving), Petal Palmer (cross country/track and field) and Megan Weaver (cross country/track and field). In all, 69 Big 12 student-athletes were nominated with 4.0 GPAs.
Of note, WVU’s 63 honorees are the second-most in the conference.
The men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams led the Mountaineers with 13 combined honorees: Justin Heimes, Logan McFadden, Dylan Melin, William Mullen, Joe Schaefer, Brendan Williams, Kate Beckish, Paige Dressel, Sara Haggerty, Shelby Gerving, McClain, Lauren Musbach and Reardon. Meanwhile, the cross country/track and field teams placed nine on the list: Macey Crawford, Lynsie Curtis, Tazanna Epps, Jo-Lauren Keane, Lilly McMullen, Lydia Moell, Abigale Mullings, Palmer and Weaver.
The football team featured seven honorees: Frazier, Sean Martin, Akheem Mesidor, Daryl Porter Jr., Taurus Simmons, A’Varius Sparrow and Devell Washington, while the baseball team had six selections: Ben Abernathy, Braden Barry, Nathan Blasick, Ben Hampton, McGwire Holbrook and Mikey Kluska.
Five Mountaineer student-athletes represented the rowing team: Laurna Atkins, Ashlea Clark, Emily DeGlopper, Alexandra Farron and Anna Gall, as well as the gymnastics team: Chloe Asper, Ellen Collins, Agatha Handono, Kiana Lewis and Nicole Norris. The women’s soccer team (Adler, Jadyn Chee, Maya Ladhani and McCarthy) and wrestling team (Jack Blumer, Anthony D’Alesio, Caleb Dowling and Peyton Hall) each placed four on the conference’s academic rookie team.
The rifle team had three honorees: Becca Lamb, McGhin and Matt Sanchez, while the women’s basketball team had two: JeAnna Cunningham and Taziah Jenks.
Additionally, Ciro Bourlot Jaeggi (men’s soccer), Seny N’diaye (men’s basketball), Momoko Nagato (tennis), Melisa Nur Temiz (volleyball) and Will Stakel (golf) were also honored.
Nominated by each institution’s director of student-athlete support services, student-athletes on the Academic All-Big 12 Rookie Team must be new, first-time/incoming freshmen that have completed 24 semester hours of non-remedial coursework and achieved a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0. Additionally, the student-athlete must have participated in at least one of their team’s scheduled contests and must have been a member of their respective team for their sport’s entire NCAA Championship segment.
A total of 527 student-athletes were named to the team by the conference this year.