Gebhart named to Academic All-America First Team

June 12, 2015

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Recently graduated Penn State field hockey player Laura Gebhart (Mount Joy, Pa.) was elected to the 2015 Capital One Academic All-America Division I Women’s At-Large First Team, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), it was announced Thursday morning.

Gebhart became eligible for the honor when she was named to the Academic All-District first team for the second consecutive year last month. While Gebhart was the lone Nittany Lion selected to the women’s at-large team, classmate Matt Brown of the wrestling team was named to the men’s at-large first team and was tabbed as the “Team Member of the Year”. California swimmer and Olympic gold medalist Missy Franklin earned the highest individual honor on the women’s side.

Brown and Gebhart are Penn State’s 187th and 188th CoSIDA Academic All-Americans all-time, ranking Penn State No. 3 among all Division I institutions. Gebhart is the third Nittany Lion field hockey player to earn the honor, as Traci Anselmo was the first in 2000 and Kelsey Amy was a two-time selection in 2011 and 2012.

Already honored this year as a NFHCA Scholar of Distinction, Gebhart was a four-time field hockey All-American, earning first-team honors for the first time this past season. The community and environment development major was also a four-time first-team All-Big Ten and first-team NFHCA All-Mideast Region selection and finished eighth on the Nittany Lions' all-time assists list.

This past season, Gebhart helped lead Penn State to the NCAA quarterfinals, serving as team captain and ranking second on the team in scoring with 27 points. Additionally, she was the captain of the 2013 U.S. Junior World Cup Squad and has been a member of the U.S. Women's National Team since the 2013-14 season.

In the academic at-large program, nominations are limited to four nominees per gender per school for a maximum total of four men's at-large candidates and a maximum four women's at-large candidates per school. On the women’s side, at-large sports include bowling, crew/rowing, fencing, field hockey, golf, gymnastics, ice hockey, lacrosse, rifle, skiing, swimming, tennis, volleyball, and water polo.

No fewer than 75 percent (34) of the 45 members of the 2015 Capital One Academic All-America® NCAA Division I Women’s At-Large Team posted at least a 3.90 G.P.A., including a sensational 17 student-athletes with spotless 4.0 G.P.A. The 15 members of the first-team registered an average G.P.A. of 3.88, with nearly half (seven) logging a 4.0 G.P.A.

Additional Penn State athletics academic notes:
- 101 student-athletes graduated last month, second-highest in school history, and 128 have graduated so far during this academic year.

- Penn State's 70 winter Academic All-Big Ten selections brought Penn State's 2014-15 total to 142 academic all-conference honorees (from 15 sports) and comes on the heels of the record-breaking fall semester academic performance.

- Penn State student-athletes shattered school records during the 2014 fall semester, including a record 500 earning a grade-point average of 3.0 or higher. Among the 500 Nittany Lion student-athletes earning at least a 3.0 GPA, a school record 241 garnered Dean's List honors during the 2014 fall semester by posting a GPA of 3.50 or higher. The combined average GPA was 3.08 among Penn State's 31 varsity sports during the fall semester.

- Last October, the NCAA's annual study of institutions across the nation revealed Penn State student-athletes at the University Park campus earned a Graduation Success Rate (GSR) of 89 percent compared to the 82 percent average for all Division I institutions. The 89 percent figure was second-highest, to Northwestern, among Big Ten Conference institutions.

Last Updated June 15, 2015