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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

47 Knights earn Academic All-Conference

<rleton student athletes have shown not only dedication to their sport, but also their ability to excel in their classes. With the recent release of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) fall 2018 academic all-conference team, 47 Carleton College student-athletes received this award to honor their athletic and academic success.

In addition to athletic requirements, the MIAC Academic All-Conference standards require that student-athletes be at least a sophomore with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale. “3.5 is challenging, especially at Carleton, and so the fact that we had this at the largest number ever is really impressive,” said Heidi Jaynes, Carleton’s Assistant Athletic Director. “It’s always impressive when you can have that many academic awards at a place like Carleton.”

Fall 2018 saw more Knights earn Academic All-Conference than in any other season the school’s history, with their 47 recipients placing second among all other MIAC programs.

This high number of awards may not come as a surprise to coaches who have high academic expectations from their athletes even before they arrive on campus. While student athletes dedicate much of their time to attending practices and games, academics is always the number one priority. “The first thing our coaches talk with them when they’re recruiting them and letting them know about what Carleton’s like [is] that first and foremost if you’re interested in Carleton, it’s academics first. You have to be the type of student who is a student-athlete which is being a student first, being an athlete second,” said Jaynes.

David Rubin, a sophomore on the men’s soccer team, received this award. On how he balances playing soccer and academics, “I find myself being more focus on academics in season. Just having the structure of soccer really makes you structure all of your time really well,” said Rubin.


Elyse Wanzenried ’19, captain of the women’s volleyball team, also received the award and holds a similar sentiment. “I use [academics and athletics] to balance each other out. I like to use athletics as a release from academics and vice versa. To have that be a built in part of my day, makes me be more productive and organized and it forces me to find times to do specific academic things.”

Rubin and Wanzenried both stated that their teammates feel similarly, as these are conversations that they have as a team.
While academics may be a priority, there are times throughout the term when student athletes must miss class in order to attend games or tournaments. “We try to schedule so that they miss the least amount of classes as possible, and there are students who miss practices or competitions because they have to attend class,” said Jaynes.

Students are expected to talk to their professors ahead of time and notify them about their absence. Last term, Rubin missed three classes in order to attend games. “Professors’ policies usually allow you to have two or three absences per term and sporting events usually count toward that… But professors are pretty accommodating and supportive,” said Rubin.
“[The schedule] was a little easier this year because I was used to it” added Rubin.

“Every year gets harder, but every year you get better at everything you do. You build the skills to be capable as you progress through your time at carleton. You get more demands on your time, you’re doing the job search, you’re doing harder classes, you’re doing your comps, you’re doing independent research, you’re pursuing a career, but at the same time you take on these things gradually and you become more capable and more prepared to do that,” said Wanzenried. Wanzenried has been playing volleyball at Carleton since her freshman year and has received the MIAC-All Conference Academic Award before.

“Athletics needs to become more and more of a release and less of an obligation as you get older in order to make it functional for you, for you to have the priorities to succeed as you get older,” added Wanzenried.

“For them to be so highly successful both academically, which is a priority here at Carleton and athletically, we’re just excited for them that they’re able to commit their time at both endeavors,” said Jaynes.

In order to obtain a true appreciation for the Carleton student athlete, it is important to recognize and distinguish the intense level of academia that Knights of all athletic disciplines are subject to. According to recent figures, Carleton has the lowest acceptance rate in all of Minnesota, which sits at nearly twenty points fewer than that of the second most selective MIAC school. Carleton is ranked sixteenth in the nation in’s “Academics Grade,” which combines survey information and acceptance rates to determine the colleges at which students work the hardest. This in mind, the fact that Carleton student-athletes were still able to earn the second most Academic All-MIAC awards in the conference is truly remarkable.

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