Fourteen members of the West Virginia University gymnastics team were named 2022 Scholastic All-Americans by the Women’s Collegiate Gymnastics Association (WCGA), as announced on Wednesday.
Since 1987, Mountaineer gymnasts have earned 183 WCGA Academic All-America awards. WVU’s 14 honorees this season mark its highest in program history, besting the previous team high of 10 honorees, which was set in 2010 and matched last season. Also of note, six of the squad’s 14 selections were named to the team with a perfect 4.0 GPA.
In addition to the team’s individual honors, West Virginia’s grade-point average (GPA) of 3.64 ranked No. 25 in the nation, the team’s highest ranking since 2017, when it also came in at No. 25.
“We are very proud of our recognition by the WCGA and our rank among other programs for our academic achievements,” Mountaineer coach Jason Butts said. “It’s a well-deserved honor for our 14 student-athletes who work tirelessly to maximize their educational opportunities at WVU. As a program, we value academics at the highest level, and this year’s results are a testament of our student-athletes’ dedication to that standard.”
Leading the way was Esperanza Abarca (art education) with her fourth consecutive honor, while Emily Holmes-Hackerd (exercise physiology), Abbie Pierson (exercise physiology) and Kianna Yancey (psychology) were recognized for the third time in their careers.
Chloe Asper (psychology), Ellen Collins (biology), Agatha Handono (exercise physiology), Rachel Hornung (exercise physiology) and Kiana Lewis (exercise physiology) were recognized for the second time.
Five other gymnasts – Brooke Alban (psychology), Brynn Freehling (business), Heidi Hartje (management), Anna Leigh (exercise physiology) and Laura Soltis (general studies) – were named to the team for the first time in their careers.
To qualify for the exclusive honor, a gymnast must have a GPA of at least 3.50 for either the preceding academic year or have a cumulative GPA of 3.50 or higher at the nominating institution. Overall, there were 53 teams maintaining a GPA of 3.50 or better on a 4.0 scale. There were 228 gymnasts honored with a 4.0 GPA, while record 1,077 student-athletes posted a GPA of 3.5 or better.
As an advocate for women’s collegiate gymnastics, the WCGA seeks to actively manage and develop the sport of women’s gymnastics at the collegiate level. The association works with the NCAA and USA Gymnastics in order to provide the best experience possible for student-athletes.