For only the second time in school history, and the first time since 1991, the University of Evansville has produced four Academic All-Americans in the same school year.
Three of the four were announced today by the College Sports Information Directors of America, with tennis player Kate Chybowski and swimmer Christina Schmidgall making the Capital One Women's At-Large Academic All-America Team, and swimmer Colin Gray making the men's at-large team. Soccer player Mike Luttrull was UE's first recipient of 2010-11, when he was chosen as a first team selection on the Men's Soccer Academic All-America Team in November.
Chybowski, Schmidgall and Gray were all chosen today as third team selections on their respective At-Large Academic All-America teams. The At-Large teams are arguably the most difficult Academic All-America teams to make because of the large number of athletes eligible for selection. The at-large category includes male and female student-athletes in the sports of tennis, swimming & diving, fencing, gymnastics, golf, ice hockey, lacrosse, rifle, skiing and water polo, along with the men's sports of wrestling and volleyball, and the women's sports of bowling, crew and field hockey.
"We are very proud of Academic All-America awards earned by our four student-athletes," said Director of Athletics John Stanley. "In addition to their academic success, all four are outstanding individuals who have represented the University of Evansville in admirable fashion competitively and in the community."
Schmidgall graduated in May with a perfect 4.0 grade point average and earned her degree in Athletic Training. She holds UE records in the 500-, 1000-, and 1650-yard freestyle events. She produced two top-3 finishes at the Missouri Valley Conference Championships in February, finishing second in the 200-yard freestyle and third in the 500 free. She was also the MVC Elite 18 Award winner for having the highest grade point average among all competitors at the MVC Championships. A three-time all-MVC selection, Schmidgall is a finalist for the Ida M. Stieler Award, presented each June to UE's most outstanding female athlete of the year. She will serve as a graduate assistant in athletic training beginning in August at the University of Florida, and will work with the Gators women's tennis team and men's basketball team.
Chybowski is Evansville's all-time leader in singles victories (107) and total victories (189), breaking records set in 1999. She finished 17-3 at number one singles and 10-6 at number one doubles as a senior. Chybowski received the Lois D. Patton Award in April for being the Aces' most outstanding senior female scholar-athlete, and in May was chosen as the Ohio Valley Region recipient of the Arthur Ashe Junior Leadership & Sportsmanship Award. She won the 2010 Stieler Award, presented each year to UE's most outstanding female athlete of the year, and is a finalist for the same honor in 2011. The three-time first-team all-MVC selection graduated in May with a 3.92 GPA in Biology, and will attend the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine in August.
Gray goes into his senior year at the University of Evansville in August with a perfect 4.0 GPA, majoring in Mathematics. He is spending the summer at North Carolina State University as part of the Research Experience for Undergraduates program. Gray was an Academic All-America Team finalist in 2010. He was Evansville's fastest swimmer in the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke events, and finished his junior season with a season-best time of 2:12.75 in the 200 breaststroke at the Mid-American Conference Championships in March. Gray won three events during the season, and was UE's lone winner at the Western Kentucky Invitational. He finished in the MAC's top 20 in both the 100- and 200-breaststroke.
The University of Evansville has produced 45 Academic All-Americans, beginning in 1972. UE has had at least one Academic All-American in each of the last three years, and seven of the last eight.