MANHEIM, Pa. – On Monday, May 20, the National Wrestling Coaches Association announced its annual Division I All-Academic Top 30 Teams and Individual All-Academic Wrestling Team, with the Lions garnering the No. 28 spot as a team and placing three grapplers on the individual team. 

Columbia’s No. 28 ranking came after posting a team GPA of 3.0212. The team GPA was determined using a system that includes 12 student-athletes from each program.  A total of 10 of these came from the wrestlers that were entries in the NCAA tournament conference qualifier.  If teams had less than 10 entries for their respective qualifier, they were allowed to fill those spots with wrestlers that competed in at least one varsity dual during the season.

The top-five team rankings were as follows: Harvard (3.418), Nebraska-Lincoln (3.3208), Stanford (3.252), Indiana-Bloomington (3.241) and Virginia (3.24).

The 2013 individual team features a total of 82 athletes. Columbia’s three honorees include senior co-captains Jake O’Hara and Steve Santos and junior Josh Houldsworth. The trio, all financial economics majors, each qualified for the NCAA Championships this season, with Santos finishing third in the 149-pound bracket.

The student-athlete with the highest GPA was Matthew Brown from Penn State University.  Brown, who had a 3.97 GPA in Criminology, was also named the NCAA Elite 89 award winner.

Rounding out the top five of the individual list were: Virginia’s Matthew Snyder (3.95), Hofstra’s Steve Bonanno (3.77), North Dakota State’s Evan Knutson (3.755) and Ohio State University’s Cody Magrum (3.745).

“The NWCA All-Academic Team and Individual Team is one of the best acknowledgements that we can give to our coaches and athletes at the end of a physically grueling season” said NWCA Executive Director Mike Moyer in the organization’s official release. “These young men have proved that they are not only talented competitors but are leaders in the classroom as well. The NWCA Board of Directors and staff look forward to watching these student-athletes continue their success at the collegiate level and eventually as the leaders of the future once they earn their college degrees.”