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Connecticut College women named ‘smartest team in nation’

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Connecticut College Athletics

NEW LONDON, Conn–The Connecticut College men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams have been honored for their excellence in the classroom by the Collegiate Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) with the Team Scholar All-America award.

The CSCAA recognized 135 NCAA Division III women’s swimming and diving squads with the Scholar All-America Award for College and University programs that achieved a 3.0 grade point average or higher and the Connecticut College Camels were ranked #1 in the ranking with a mean team GPA of 3.66.

The CSCAA honored 78 NCAA Division III men’s swimming and diving teams with the Scholar All-America Award and the Connecticut College Camels posted an impressive 3.23 GPA to finish in a 36th place tie with Kenyon College on the list.

In addition to the team recognition, six Camels were honored with the Individual Scholar All-America Award. To be honored individually, a student-athlete must earn a B-cut or provisionally qualify for the NCAA Swimming & Diving Championship and carry a grade point average of at least 3.50.

Junior Julia Pielock (South Deerfield, Mass.) received first team recognition for the Camels. Pielock placed 10th in the 50 yard freestyle at the 2013 NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championship, earning NCAA Honorable Mention All-American honors for Connecticut College.

Senior Mackenzie Lilly (Frederick, Md.), sophomore Esther Mehesz (Wethersfield, Conn.) along with first year swimmers Samantha Pierce (Windsor, Conn.) and Sarah Lauridsen (Cos Cob, Conn.) were all honored as CSCAA Honorable Mention Scholar All-Americans.

Sophomore Cameron Johnson (Westford, Mass.) represented the Camel men as a CSCAA Honorable Mention Scholar All-American.

Marc Benvenuti, the Head Men’s and Women’s Swimming & Diving Coach at the College, was pleased with his team’s academic accomplishments in what was another terrific season for Camel swimming.

“Our student-athletes compete at the highest level in the classroom and in the pool,” Benvenuti said. “For our our women’s squad to be ranked #1 is an amazing accomplishment. Our men followed up on their third place finish at the NESCAC Championship with another outstanding academic ranking.”

Founded in 1922, the College Swimming Coaches Association of America is the oldest professional organization of college coaches in America. The CSCAA is dedicated to serving and providing leadership for the advancement of the sport of swimming and diving at the collegiate level.