Courtesy of Jim Koch, DII All-Academic Chairman
The 2016-2017 Division II All-Academic Wrestling Team consists of 186 student-athletes from 47 universities and colleges. Thirty-eight members were named to the first team, 62 members to the second team, and 86 were named as honorable mention. The University of Indianapolis placed five members on the first team, while Fort Hays State University, Ashland University, and Mercyhurst University all placed three on the first team.
Nine student-athletes were named to the team for the fourth time. They were Brent Fickel from Ashland University, Michael Labry from Ashland University, John Blankenship from University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, Colbey Vance from Upper Iowa University, Josh Berg from St. Cloud State, Jonathon Inman from Fort Hays State University, Zeb Wahle from Maryville University, and Ronzel Darling from University of Wisconsin – Parkside. Zeb Wahle and Jon Inman were first team all four years.
In order for a student-athlete to be nominated to the Division II All-Academic Team, he needed to have a minimum 3.00 cumulative grade point average on a 4.0 scale. He must also be in at least his second full year at his school, be a varsity member on his team or a key reserve, demonstrate a degree of skill and have a minimum of two letters of recommendation (academic advisor and coach) submitted on his behalf.
The University of Indianapolis recorded the highest team grade point average (GPA) in the Twenty-Fourth Annual Division II All-Academic Wrestling Team competition and has won the Academic National Championship. This is the third time that University of Indianapolis has achieved this honor, and their GPA is the third-highest ever recorded. Only Western State Colorado in 2016 with a 3.536, and the University of Nebraska at Kearney in 2004 with a 3.519 have ever had a higher team GPA.
Twelve other NCAA II schools have also won the National Championship. They include the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, Fort Hays State University, the University of Mary, Colorado School of Mines, Truman State University, West Liberty University, Minnesota State University-Mankato, California Baptist University, the University of Nebraska at Omaha, the University of Nebraska at Kearney, Mercyhurst University, and Western State Colorado.
Nine of the top twenty teams this year came from the Central Region, five came from the West Region, four came from the Midwest Region, and two came from the East Region. The Team GPA is calculated by averaging the cumulative grade point averages of ten wrestlers from each team of which eight of those wrestlers must have competed in their team’s NCAA Division II National Qualifying Tournament.