July 17, 2014
PITTSBURGH - For the second time in three years, both the men's and women's swimming and diving programs were honored as Scholar All-America Teams by the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA), the organization announced last week.
"I couldn't be more proud of what our student-athletes have accomplished - not only in the pool, but in the classroom as well," said head coach Chuck Knoles. "For all of our student-athletes to compete and excel at such a high level is a tribute to their desire and willingness to put in the extra effort."
It was the 16th consecutive year that the women's team earned the distinction while the men achieved the honor for the second time in the last three seasons. To be eligible for the award, a team must achieve a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher in the semester coinciding with the NCAA Championships. After posting back-to-back 3.35 GPA's, the women raised their average to 3.37, good for third highest among all Atlantic Coast Conference institutions. Meanwhile, the men posted a 3.15 GPA, which is the fifth best by an ACC school.
Additionally, nine swimmers between the two programs were honored for their individual excellence in the classroom - five from the women and four from the men, led by sophomore Blair Wegescheide, who was named to the First Team Scholar All-America.
The remaining seven student-athletes were Honorable Mention Scholar All-Americans. On the women's side swimmers junior Brooke Waugaman, freshman Kinga Cichowska and recent graduate Veronica Lee were all recognized for their outstanding success in the classroom. Swimmers sophomore Martin Vogel and freshman Zach Lierley and divers junior Harris Bergman and recent graduate Aaron Snyder were the men's representatives.
The award is presented to swimmers and divers who attained a GPA of 3.5. First Team members qualified and competed at the NCAA Championship while Honorable Mention recipients accomplished either a "B" time standard for swimmers or competed at a qualifying meet for divers.
Wegescheide broke a pair of school records and contributed to another at the ACC Championships back in February, helping the 200 medley relay set a new program-best time while breaking the record in the 50-back in the process. She also owns the top time in the 100-back.
Lee, the women's most valuable swimmer last year, placed first in six different events throughout the season and assisted in the record-breaking performance in the 400 medley relay at the AT&T Winter Nationals. Waugaman, who specializes in the backstroke, qualified for the bonus final in the 200 at the ACC Championship, while Cichowska was responsible for three top times in school history at the Winter Nationals, including in the 100- and 200-breaststroke.
As a freshman, Lierley set and then broke his own school record in the 400 IM, racing to 10th place at the ACC Championships. Fellow swimmer Vogel was integral in the Panthers' efforts at the ACC Championships, scoring points in both the 400 IM and 200 fly.
During the 2013-14 season, Bergman posted three first place finishes off the 1-meter board while placing 15th in the event at the ACC Championships. He also was 10th in the 3-meter dive at the NCAA Zone A qualifying meet. Snyder, the most valuable diver on Pitt's team last year, took home a pair of top finishes in both the 1M and 3M during the campaign and was 10th in the 1M at the ACC Championships.
In their inaugural ACC season, the Panther men placed ninth at the conference championships while the women were eighth.
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