SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. - The Mount Holyoke College swimming and diving team was recently honored for its outstanding work in the classroom. The Lyons were among the 658 teams from around the nation to achieve College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) Scholar All-American status following the 2016 spring semester. Additionally, MHC was third among the nine NEWMAC institutions honored, trailing MIT and Smith College.
In order to qualify, teams must have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for the semester. Mount Holyoke easily reached the mark, posting a team grade point average of 3.67, which was good for 10th in the nation. During the fall, the Lyons boasted the top GPA amongst the women with a 3.79. NEWMAC-rival MIT had the third best GPA in the nation for Division III schools this spring with a 3.79, while the Pioneers boasted a 3.70, which was sixth overall. Sarah Lawrence (3.87) and Ripon (3.80) earned the top and runner-up spots this spring.
Additionally, the Lyons saw senior Cathleen Pruden (Raleigh, N.C./Ravenscroft School) garner individual Scholar All-America honors. An All-American by virtue of her third-place finish in the 400-Individual Medley at the NCAA Championships, Pruden garnered the recognition for the third straight season. She was among a record 853 swimmers and divers from all divisions named to the Scholar All-America Team.
Pruden, who repeated as the NEWMAC Swimmer of the Year in 2015-16, powered her way to 41 victories in the pool this season. In addition to achieving 10 school records, she also defended her NEWMAC title in the 400-IM for the fourth-straight year, posting a conference meet and open record time once again.
In addition to her 400-IM win, Pruden also repeated as the conference champion in the 200-IM. She went on to earn All-America honors in the 400-IM at the National Championships, as well as Honorable Mention All-America in the 200-IM.
Pruden was also recognized as a CSCAA All-America First Team selection and was also a CoSIDA/Capital One Academic All-America At-Large First Team honoree (just the second ever at Mount Holyoke on First Team). Additionally, she was Mount Holyoke's NCAA Woman of the Year nominee, graduating magna cum laude from the College in May of 2016.
With longtime head coach Dave Allen leading the way, the Lyons had a solid 2015-16 campaign. In addition to going 8-2 in dual meet action, MHC finished third overall at the Seven Sisters Championship and were ninth at the NEWMAC Championships.
Academically, 15 student-athletes were named to the NEWMAC Academic All-Conference Team, including Claire Beckett '18, Amy Lim '18, Topaz Mukulu '18, Rachel Polfer '18, Emily Craig '17, Anne Kuenning '17, Corrine Green '17, Katie Tyler '18, Erica Carvell '16, Sarah Crocker '16, Kelly Sin Ee Lim '16, Sarah McKay '16, Pruden, Cailin Van Nevel '18, and Emily Serio '16.