Four Swim And Divers Named A-10 Academic All-Conference
March 28, 2012
AMHERST, Mass. - Junior Alexander Merkulov of the men's swimming and diving team is one of only two returnees to the 2012 Atlantic 10 Swimming and Diving Academic All-Conference team, as announced on Wednesday. Three other UMass swim and divers join Merkulov; men's sophomores Chris Inglis and Troy Nichols and women's junior Molly Elkins. The teams were selected through voting conducted by the league's Sports Information Directors. To be eligible, student-athletes (excluding freshman) must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or greater in their entire academic careers to go along with outstanding performance in the pool.
Merkuov, a native of Westfield, Mass., had an outstanding season to go along with his stellar 3.841 GPA. The Microbiology major, picked his season best scores in both diving events in the first meet of the season against Boston University, in which he finished with scores of 318.52 in the one-meter and 319.65 in the three-meter. Merkulov finished sixth in the three-meter dive (282.85) and seventh in the one-meter dive (242.75) at this year's Atlantic 10 Championship.
Inglis, a sophomore from Mashpee, Mass., had a phenomenal year in the pool taking gold in the 200-yard freestyle (1:36.93) and the 1650 freestyle-yard (15:43.25) at the 2012 Atlantic 10 Championship. He also took silver in the 500-yard freestyle (4:27.52) and gold as a member of the 800-yard freestyle relay (6:35.11). To go along with his exceptional performance in the pool, the chemistry major boasts a 3.856 GPA.
Nichols, a sophomore from Clifton Park, N.Y., had the highest GPA of all of this years All-Conference recipients with an outstanding 3.967. The business major helped the 800-yard freestyle relay team to a gold medal finish with a time of 6:35.11 and also finished fourth in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:39.87 at this year's Atlantic 10 Championship.
Elkins, a junior from Dayton, Ohio, finished the year strong, after sitting out most of the first half with an injury, by taking the silver medal in both the one and three-meter diving events with scores of 251.80 and 247.40, respectively, at the Atlantic 10 Championship. Elkins, a phycology major, has an impressive 3.445 GPA.
Rounding out the rest of the men's 2012 A-10 Academic All-Conference team are Devin Morris of Fordham, Phillip Graeter and Spencer Neff of George Washington, Blase Szyszko of La Salle, Mike Murphy and Yi Liu of St. Bonaventure and Michael Zennedjian of Xavier.
On the women's side the rest of the team is made up of Caitlin Zajko of Duquesne, Brienne Ryan of Fordham, Caroline Myers of George Washington, Katie Mangano of Rhode Island, Lauren Hines, Mali Kobelja and Mina Vucic of Richmond and McKenzie Courtney of St. Bonaventure.