Aug 2, 2012 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorTwo Central Wyoming College athletic teams finished in the top 10 in the nation for its academic work in the classroom for the 2011-12 year.
CWC women's basketball finished sixth in the nation with a team grade-point average of 3.40. The women's volleyball squad placed 10th with a team GPA of 3.47.
The awards were announced last month by the National Junior College Athletic Association.
"For us, it means that we meet our expectations," CWC athletic director and women's basketball coach Serol Stauffenberg said. "It shows you what type of kids that we are recruiting. It shows you the effort that they give once they get here. It's something that we desire and that we want to achieve every single year."
Stauffenberg said there are 200-plus women's teams in CWC's basketball division.
"The kids are very serious in the classroom," Stauffenberg said. "It's a great bridge to the college and the teachers."
CWC sophomore Brynn Foster had the highest GPA for the Rustlers at 3.90. Foster won the superior academic achievement award for her GPA. A student must have at least a 3.80 GPA to gain the award.
"Brynn is just a super kid," Stauffenberg said.
"She wanted to excel in the classroom and move on into the next level of academics. She represented us well."
Teammate Brynlie Nielsen earned the exemplary academic achievement award with her 3.73 GPA. The award is for students posting a 3.60 to 3.79 GPA in the classroom.
On the court, the two helped CWC advance to the semifinals in the Region IX, where they lost to Otero Junior College at Casper College.
"We do monitor these student athletes as far as their class and attendance goes, because it effects your entire team," Stauffenberg said. "it wasn't like we were walking them to class. These people were self motivated."
Getting academic all-region IX awards this year were Foster, Nielsen, Shay Cooper, Sam Hart, Elise Keller, Randi Prosenick and Kaylee Walker.
To receive an all-region IX awards, the student-athlete must have 30 semesters hours with a 3.25 GPA or better.
Preston Eaton represented the CWC men's basketball team on the all-region IX award team.
CWC volleyball player Keesa Rottweiler earned the top GPA with a 3.83 to win the superior achievement award.
"The volleyball kids miss the first four Fridays or Thursdays for games," Stauffenberg said. "They are doing there job when they are missing their classes. "
Jaci Egley finished second on the team at 3.70 and Nichole Meline (3.6 GPA) both won the exemplary academic achievement award.
Rottweiler, Egley, Meline, Abigail Ehlers, Leticia Guimaraes, Kali Howe, Andrea Molen, Ana Tenorio and Kaitly Tracy all won all-region IX awards.
CWC fell to Western Wyoming in the 2011 Region IX championship match.
CWC women rodeo members Lacey Tech and Traci Hinman were 2012 academic all-Americans.
Tech won the goat tying championship in June at the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper.
Hinman was a captain for the Rustlers who finished second in the nation.
Hinman also took part at the CNFR.
Hinman was recently named as an assistant rodeo coach for the CWC rodeo program.
The academic honor by the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association is for rodeo athletes getting a 3.5 GPA or better.
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