The Utah Valley University wrestling team, as well as redshirt freshmen Kimball Bastian and Tanner Orndorff, were honored by the National Wrestling Coaches Association on Tuesday for achieving all-academic honors. UVU earned a spot on the NWCA Division I All-Academic Top 30 Teams list after posting the 13th-best team GPA in the nation, while Bastian and Orndorff were named to the institution’s Individual All-Academic Team.
The Wolverines recorded a 3.329 grade-point average, while Bastian (174 pounds) and Orndorff (197) earned NWCA Individual All-Academic Team honors for the first time in their careers after posting respective cumulative GPAs of 3.28 and 3.34. Bastian is pursuing his degree in exercise science and outdoor recreation, while Orndorff is majoring in computer science.
This year marks the eighth time in the last nine years that UVU has earned a spot on the NWCA All-Academic Top 30 Teams list. The Utah Valley wrestling team, which moved up five spots this year after posting the 18th-best GPA last season, recorded its highest finish of fourth following the 2011-12 season with a 3.27 GPA.
UVU is one of three Big 12 Conference institutions to make the cut this year, as fellow wrestling affiliates, North Dakota State (No. 5, 3.396 GPA) and South Dakota State (No. 12, 3.336 GPA), were also honored.
For the fourth time in the last five seasons, Harvard earned top honors in 2017 with a 3.586 GPA.
The team GPA was determined using a system that includes 12 student-athletes from each program. A total of 10 of these came from the wrestlers that were entries in the NCAA tournament conference qualifier.
“In the current landscape of college athletics, it’s imperative that our programs perform in the classroom and show their value to the school, not just in performance on the mat, but performance in the classroom,” said NWCA Executive Director Mike Moyer. “We have teams actively trying to break into the top 30 of the All-Academic standings because it’s something they can be proud of as a team and something their administrators can be proud of as a school.”