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Academic athletes dominate studies as well as sports

The women's 2012 softball team; Academic All-American Stephanie Janes is at the far right.

The women's 2012 softball team; Academic All-American Stephanie Janes is at the far right.

In May, when Fort Lewis College first baseman Stephanie Janes was named to the Capital One Academic All-America second team for NCAA Division II, it was a crowning academic achievement for Skyhawk athletes.

Janes becomes the eighth student-athlete in Fort Lewis College history to be recognized on an Academic All-America team -- and the fourth this season alone. And that achievement is just the latest in a run of Skyhawk academic excellence.

"We are extremely proud of the of the athletic accomplishments by our teams this year. We are even more proud, though, of their exceptional academic achievements," says Athletic Director Gary Hunter. "These successes are a tribute to the quality of student-athletes recruited by our coaches and the outstanding instruction given by our faculty."

Janes graduated summa cum laude on April 28, earning her Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration-Finance. She maintained a 3.84 grade point average during her four years at FLC, and she is the first player in the 29-year history of Skyhawk softball to earn Capital One Academic All-America accolades.

To be eligible for Capital One Academic All-America consideration, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.30, and have reached sophomore athletic and academic standings. Nation-wide members of the College Sports Information Directors of America vote on the Academic All-America teams.

Fort Lewis College's Academic All-America winners

Stephanie Janes, softball, second team, 2012
Matt Morris, men's basketball, third team, 2011-12
Frank Atherton, football, first team, 2011
Berekk Blackwell, men's soccer, second team, 2011
Christine Schmelzle, women's soccer, third team, 2010
Tad Layman, football, second team, 2001
Ryan Ostrom, men's basketball, first team, 1997-98
Dee Tennison, football, first team, 1972

Further bolstering the Skyhawks' place as academic all-stars, when the Academic All-Conference lacrosse team is announced in June, six women’s lacrosse players will be on it. That will raise the number of present FLC student-athletes on Academic All-Conference teams to 57. That’s an average of more than five student-athletes per sport for FLC's 11 varsity sports.

Other recent Skyhawk scholastic achievements include:

  • Six of 11 Skyhawk teams earned team-average GPAs of 3.00 or higher: women’s basketball (3.56), women’s volleyball (3.25), women’s soccer (3.16), men’s basketball (3.13), men’s cross country (3.09), and women’s lacrosse (3.05).
  • The 2010-11 women’s basketball team had the highest GPA of any collegiate women’s basketball team in the nation -- including NCAA divisions I, II & III, NAIA, and junior colleges.
  • The 2011 men’s cross country team received the USTFCCCA Academic Team Award for having a 3.03 GPA. Since the award, the team GPA has risen to 3.09.
  • 60 student-athletes were named to the Dean’s List in 2011-12: 32 for the Fall semester, 28 for the Winter term. All sports were represented, with volleyball leading the Winter-semester list with five, and women’s basketball leading in the Fall with seven.

Read more about Skyhawks Athletics.

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