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Men's gymnastics records second place showing in national academic awards

  • Coaching champions
    Coaching champions  Cliff Gauthier, long-time head coach of the Tribe's men's gymnastics team, talks with some of the gymnasts.  Photo courtesy of Tribe Athletics
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The College of William and Mary men's gymnastics team narrowly missed defending last year's National Academic Team title (as awarded by the College Gymnastics Association, CGA) by placing second in the 2009 team standings with a 3.335 combined team grade point average. Stanford emerged with the nation's highest combined team GPA of all Division I men's gymnastics programs by recording a 3.394 cumulative team grade point average.

"Our gymnastics teams have always placed a high value on excellence both in and out of the gym," commented long-time Tribe Head Coach Cliff Gauthier. "Seeing our student-athletes efforts rewarded with such outstanding national rankings and honors is quite a tribute to their sustained efforts."

William and Mary Athletics Director, Terry Driscoll commented, "While it is the charge of the entire department to excel in all areas, Cliff Gauthier's men's gymnastics program continually is among the nation's elite programs as far as blending high academic achievement with outstanding athletic success.

While the College wasn't able to repeat as team champions, seven William and Mary gymnasts received first-team CGA Academic honors for the 2009 season: graduated seniors James Prim and Richard Pearson, both neuroscience majors who will be attending medical school this coming year, rising seniors Josh Fried (kinesiology) and Chris Lynch (neuroscience), rising juniors Matt Holmes (computer science and public policy) and Kyle Sneeden (computer science and economics), as well as rising sophomore Steve Deutsch (business).

Second-team honorees were awarded to graduated senior Sloan Crawford (marketing), rising senior Derek Gygax (biology), rising juniors Chris Valeska and Max Sabert both business majors, and rising sophomore Dan Melzar (neuroscience).

As a team, William and Mary continues to lead the nation with more individual Academic All-American honors than any other university in men's gymnastics. The Tribe gymnasts have now won the national academic title four times (1991, 1992, 2002 and 2008) while placing second five times (1994, 2000, 2001, 2003 and 2009) since the inception of the awards in 1991.

The gymnasts also finished 13th in the final NCAA rankings in men's gymnastics.