Record-tying 299 Penn State student-athletes earn Academic All-Big Ten honors

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State student-athletes have broken one school Academic All-Big Ten record in 2016-17 and tied the overall record high, set last year.

A school-record 145 Nittany Lion students from the spring/at-large sports boosted Penn State to 299 Academic All-Big Ten honorees in 2016-17, tying the mark set last year. The previous high among the spring/at-large sports was 140, also set in 2015-16.

Penn State is second among all Big Ten institutions with 5,875 Academic All-Big Ten honorees since 1991-92, its first year of competition in some Big Ten sports. Ohio State, which has 36 varsity sports, edged past the Nittany Lions during the spring/at-large tabulation and has had 5,887 selections since 1991-92.

Penn State’s spring/at-large honorees were led by women’s lacrosse student Madison Day, a junior majoring in bio behavioral health, who owns a 4.0 grade-point average. Day was among the 22 Big Ten students competing in spring and at-large sports to record an unblemished GPA.

Also among the Nittany Lions’ spring and at-large honorees was recent women’s hockey graduate Laura Bowman, who was selected a CoSIDA second-team Academic All-American. Bowman earned a 3.95 GPA in biochemistry and molecular biology. Men’s track and field junior Xavier Smith, who won the 2017 Big Ten Indoor Championship in the 60 meters, also was among the Nittany Lions’ honorees.

Penn State Highest Academic All-Big Ten Yearly Totals

(3.0 GPA and a letter winner):

2016-17 – 299*

2015-16 – 299*

2012-13 – 296

2013-14 – 285

2014-15 – 277

*School record

The women’s track and field team, which won the 2017 Big Ten Indoor Championship, led the way for Penn State’s 14 teams in the spring/at-large period with 26 students on the list. The women’s lacrosse squad, which advanced to the NCAA semifinals for the second consecutive season, had 17 students honored and the men’s lacrosse team, which also earned an NCAA Tournament berth, had 15 Academic All-Big Ten selections.

The Penn State women’s ice hockey (11), softball (10) and men’s track and field (10) squads also cracked double digits for spring/at-large Academic All-Big Ten honorees.

The Nittany Lion women’s tennis team led the conference in Academic All-Big Ten selections with its nine honorees and the men’s tennis team was tied with Ohio State for the lead with its nine selections.

To be eligible for Academic All-Big Ten selection, student-athletes must be letter winners who are in at least their second academic year at their institution and carry a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or higher.

Penn State Highest Academic All-Big Ten Spring/At-Large Totals

(3.0 GPA and a letter winner):

2016-17 – 145*

2015-16 – 140

2013-14 – 138

2014-15 – 135

2012-13 –132

*School record

The Big Ten Conference recognized a total of 1,644 students competing in spring and at-large sports who have been named to the Academic All-Conference team.

Penn State student-athletes, who have captured 30 Big Ten Championships and conference-best eight NCAA titles since September 2012, consistently have been among the nation's most successful in earning their degrees. A school record 114 student-athletes graduated in May, bringing the 2016-17 total to 142 graduates, with more scheduled to earn their degrees in August.

Visit http://www.gopsusports.com/genrel/062217aaa.html for a complete list of Penn State’s 145 Academic All-Big Ten spring/at-large honorees for 2016-17.

Last Updated June 27, 2017