March 3, 2006
COLUMBIA, Mo. -
Twenty-one representatives of the Missouri men's and women's swimming and diving teams are among the 104 student-athletes selected as 2006 Academic All-Big 12 performers last week. The men placed seven swimmers on the first team and four on the second team, while the women earned nine first-team selections and one nomination to the second team.
"This has always been a focus point for us," Mizzou head coach Brian Hoffer said. "Over the past decade, we've really had a lot of success in the classroom. A standard has definitely been set here. We care about swimming fast, but you have to get the job done in the classroom, too."
Among the 11 honorees on the men's side were senior co-captains David Darmitzel (Santa Fe, N.M.) and Wade Pennington (Scottsdale, Ariz.), both of whom earned their third career academic all-conference selection by garnering first-team honors this year. Another pair of seniors - Dan Buhr (Faribault, Minn.) and Garrett McCaffrey (Federal Way, Wash.) was named to the first team, marking the first career Academic All-Big 12 selections for both.
Seven sophomores rounded out the group of Mizzou men on the academic all-conference squads, all earning their first selections. Bennett Clark (Kirkwood, Mo.), Travis Floyd (Midland, Texas) and Justin Sellers (Valley Center, Kan.) were all awarded first-team status, while Thomas Baumann (Quincy, Ill.), Lex Howard (East Wenatchee, Wash.), Brandon Lee (Olathe, Kan.) and Alex Zasadny (Bonner Springs, Kan.) qualified for second-team honors.
The Mizzou women sent three repeat honorees onto the academic all-conference lists in the form of senior co-captain Liz Schoborg (Cincinnati, Ohio), senior Laura Pontecore (Barrington, Ill.) and junior Kim Massaro (San Antonio, Texas). Each earned her second career selection with a first-team nod in 2006.
Seven Mizzou women earned their initial selection to the academic all-conference teams. Junior Shannon Hogan (Northville, Mich.) and sophomores Jill Bastien (St. Louis, Mo.), Katie Gates (The Woodlands, Texas), Arica Jacinto (Phoenix, Ariz.), Sarah Menefee (Louisville, Ky.) and Taye Patterson (Valdes Monts, Que.) were all first-team selections. Junior co-captain Amy Charley (Afton, Va.) earned a second-team nod to run the number of Mizzou women honorees to 10.
The 21 Academic All-Big selections for the Tigers this season runs the program's total to 246 such honors in Hoffer's 14-year tenure and marks the highest output since the squad had 22 honorees in 2002-03.
To qualify for Academic All-Big 12 honors, student-athletes must maintain a 3.00 grade-point average, either cumulative or over the previous two semesters, and must have participated in 60 percent of his or her team's scheduled contests. The first team consists of student-athletes who have earned a GPA of 3.20 or higher, and the second team are those who have a 3.00 to 3.19 GPA.