PROVO -- Finishing No. 17 is good, but finishing No. 1 is better. The BYU men's swimming and diving team finished first in the nation among Division I programs with a 3.35 team grade point average according to the College Swimming Coaches Association of America academic rankings, while also ending the season ranked No. 17 in dual meet standings.
"One of the things we try to stress is academics and to take pride in that," BYU coach Tim Powers said. "We emphasize excellence in the classroom as well as in the pool and we recruit kids like that."
The team had 18 Cougar Club Scholar Athletes with a 3.2 GPA or better. Some of the athletes excelling in the classroom as well as in the pool include junior Ryan Mullen with a 4.0 in chemical engineering, sophomore Chris Johnson with a 3.98 in zoology, junior Jay Buys, who is planning to attend medical school, with a 3.98 in exercise physiology and freshman Terrence Lim, who had a 3.93 GPA.
"I'm excited and proud of this accomplishment and I think BYU should be proud also," Powers said.
One of the criteria for the team award is having a GPA of at least 2.80 (based on a 4.0 scale) for the semester. Having a team GPA of 3.25 and above is considered superior while 3.00-3.24 is excellent and 2.80-2.99 is commendable.
The rest of the top five include Notre Dame, St. John's, Florida and Dartmouth.