Facing a challenging semester unlike any they’d ever seen, Little Rock student-athletes thrived in the classroom, posting a department record 3.41 GPA during the spring 2020 semester. The cumulative department GPA for the Trojans is 3.36, setting another impressive record for Little Rock student-athletes.
The performance extends the department’s impressive streak of semesters above a 3.0 to 16-straight, continuing to show Little Rock’s commitment to success in the classroom.
“This semester was unlike any we’d ever seen, and I’m extremely proud of the effort of our student-athletes in prioritizing academics during this unprecedented spring,” said Director of Athletics George Lee. “With the inability of our student-athletes to compete, I’m thankful to our coaches for making it a top priority among each of their teams. I’m also appreciative of the efforts of Maggie Strange and her staff and the challenges that were faced with our student-athletes not on campus for a good portion of the semester.”
An incredible 79.5 percent of Trojan student-athletes (175) posted a GPA of 3.0 or higher with 116 finishing with above a 3.5 and 58 notching a perfect 4.0. Additionally, 14 of Little Rock’s 15 athletic programs finished the spring 2020 semester with a team GPA of 3.0 or higher.
Women’s golf boasted the top team performance of the spring with a 3.95 team GPA as all five golfers finished with a 3.8 or higher, with four of them notching a perfect 4.0. Volleyball finished second with a 3.71 team GPA as 91.7 percent of the roster finished with a 3.0 or higher, including eight above a 3.5 and four with a 4.0.
Swimming and diving had a stellar spring semester as well, finishing with a team GPA of 3.62 as 90 percent of the squad was above a 3.0, including a department-best 14 swimmers with a perfect 4.00 GPA. Soccer added a 3.61 GPA as 88% of student-athletes eclipsed the 3.00 mark with seven tallying a 4.0.
Men’s golf had all eight of its student-athletes finish with a 3.0 or higher with three perfect marks, followed by women’s track and field/cross country’s 3.48 team GPA. The Trojan women saw nine student-athletes reach a perfect 4.0 GPA for the semester as men’s track and field added four additional, finishing with a 3.25 team GPA and 76 percent of the squad notching a 3.0 GPA or higher.
Baseball continued to elevate its team GPA, finishing the spring with a 3.32 mark during its competition season as 78.1 percent of the team posted a 3.00 or higher and six registered a 4.0 for the spring term. Wrestling continued to show its impact on the department with a 3.20 team GPA following its first competition season with 72 percent of Trojan wrestlers above a 3.0 and three with a 4.0.
Improvements were also made in both the men’s and women’s basketball programs with the women finishing with a 3.09 GPA and nine players above a 3.0. During their Sun Belt championship season, the Trojan men saw 10 players finish above a 3.0 GPA with three 4.0 finishers as the team GPA just missed reaching the 3.0 threshold at 2.98.
The academic honors continued what has become a major focus for Trojan athletics. Over the past year, six different Trojan athletic programs earned academic recognition by their respective national organizations while a handful of Little Rock student-athletes achieved individual academic recognition.
Student-athletes who achieved a 4.0 GPA for the spring 2020 semester include:
Baseball (6): Kale Emshoff, Nathan Lyons, Houston Parker, Reed Shepherd, Austin Smith, Gage Trahan Men’s Basketball (3): Marko Lukic, Ryan Pippins, Jovan Stulic Women’s Basketball (1): Nicole Hemphill Men’s Golf (3): Anton Albers, Danial Durisic, Devon Whitaker Women’s Golf (4): Malena Austerslaatt, Tilde Bocker, Kellie Gachaga, Thea Wakeford-Wessman Soccer (7): Bergros Asgeirsdottir, Julia Curatolo, Peyton Laughley, Maddy Peake, Samantha Rolka, Kenedie St. Mary, Hilma Svalander Swimming and Diving (14): Jessie Baldwin, KateLin Carsrud, Fernanda Gamez, Mia Gibson, Carolyn Godwin, Ashleigh Green, Annya Grom, Alexis McCauley, Avery McLean, Palmer Ristroph, Sierra Thain, Katelyn White, Charis Won, Lea Zengerling Men’s Track and Field/Cross Country (4): Caleb Chevis, Max Holzmueller, Troy McKnight, Jose Vivanco Women’s Track and Field/Cross Country (9): Shelby Dunlap, Mia Dunning, Nicole Edison, Amanda Gordon, Lauren Hurrell, Hannah Manning, Tricia Pierce, Allison Risius, Alison Stephens Volleyball (4) Cassidy Brady, Laura Jansen, Annelise Samson, Nathalia Vigineski Wrestling (3): Noah Aziere, Aidan Campbell, Miles Santiago