The NCAA noticed as the red-shirt sophomore from Buena Vista wrestled in early March at its Division II Wrestling Championship in Cleveland. They honored him as one of the Elite 89 academic stars in NCAA Athletics. A dozen days earlier, he earned the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference’s Summit Award for having the highest cumulative GPA of any wrestler competing in the conference tournament, which Western won for the first time since 2010.
Bennetts finished second in the RMAC tournament, qualifying for the NCAA Championship, but he did not make it past the first day of matches in Cleveland. Click here for more information about Western’s wrestlers in the national championships.
The Elite 89 includes one top academic performer selected from athletes competing in each of the 89 NCAA championships – in Divisions I, II and III. It differs from Academic All-America honors, which are for athletes in only certain NCAA and NAIA sports and selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America.
Mountain Sports Scholars
Meantime, at the U.S. Collegiate Ski & Snowboard National Championship in Lake Placid, N.Y., six of 14 Western Mountain Sports competitors earned awards for their academic efforts. Each has maintained a GPA of 3.30 or higher, qualifying them for special recognition by the USCSA. Click here to learn more about the team’s impressive athletic performances at the national championships.
The Mountain Sports competitors who were honored include:
- Miranda Holson
- Ellie Atkins
- Justin Barr
- Connor Michael
- Matthew Saehrig
- Robin Weiss