UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND, Va. - Just one week after Richmond Swim & Dive received its fourth-straight Scholar All-America Team designation from the College Swim Coaches Association of America, two of its standouts in senior Lauren Hines and junior Mali Kobelja were named Scholar All-Americans by the organization on Tuesday.
"I think Lauren and Mali's accomplishments reflect the lifestyle of the team," said head coach Matt Barany. "The women work tremendously hard to be great -- in the pool and in their studies. As a group, they take their studies seriously and they take pride in doing work. Our team will find inspiration in Lauren, Mali and their accomplishments."
Hines (Roanoke, Va./Hidden Valley) is the first Spider in program history to achieve both NCAA All-America and CSCAA Scholar All-America status in the same year. She attained the former with her 16th-place showing in the 100 back at March's NCAA Championship. In addition to setting the school record in the event's prelims in Auburn, Hines would also post a new program mark in the 200 portion of the event at Nationals. The 2012 Olympic Trials qualifier and school record-holder in the 100 and 200 back claimed gold in both back events and was a member of the 200 and 400 medley relays that set new conference, school and facility records at February's Atlantic 10 Championship.
A Sociology major, Hines has been equally as impressive in the classroom, earning a 3.56 GPA for Spring Semester 2012. She was named to the A-10 All-Academic Team in March before being designated to the league's Commissioner's Honor Roll earlier this month.
"Lauren is the first Spider swimmer to achieve All-America status in the pool and in the classroom," added Barany. "This is not only rare air at Richmond, but rare air for many swimming programs. Lauren's growth as an athlete and as a student isn't over. Since Trials, she has had a fun-loving focus on her swimming. Lauren's committed to make saving the best for last."
Kobelja (Fort Wayne, Ind./R. Nelson Snider) secured seven gold medals at February's Atlantic 10 Championship, where she was named the meet's Most Outstanding Performer to become the sixth Spider to earn the honor in the program's 11-year history in the league. The three-time A-10 Performer of the Week joined Hines at July's Olympic Trials, where she competed in the 200 IM. She enters the upcoming 2012-13 season ranked among the program's all-time top 10 in seven events in addition to being a member of four record-holding relays.
A Biology/Pre-Med major, Kobelja earns Honorable Mention Scholar All-America honors after maintaining a 3.67 GPA for Spring Semester 2012. She was named Richmond's first-ever A-10 Scholar-Athlete of the Year on Tuesday after garnering academic all-conference honors and Commissioner's Honor Roll designation this season.
The Scholar All American award is presented to college and university swimmers and divers, who have achieved a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or higher, for the semester or cumulative average, and have qualified for their respective national championship. The Honorable Mention Scholar All American award is presented to college and university swimmers and divers, who have achieved a grade point average of 3.5 or higher, for the semester or cumulative average, and have achieved a "B" time standard, but have not qualified to compete in their respective national championship. Both awards are presented in the semester of the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships (Winter/Spring).
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