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Courtesy: Athletics Communications

Twelve Cyclones Earn Academic All-Big 12 Honors

Release: 02/25/2014
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IRVING, Texas – The Iowa State swimming and diving team landed 11 student-athletes on the 2014 Academic All-Big 12 teams. The Cyclones earned eight first-team and three second-team honors.

Sarah Deis, Elizabeth Kleiner, Kristy Kunkel, Bre Loeschke, Ali Stearns and Imelda Wistey all made the first-team for the second year in a row, while first-time honorees consisted of Alex Flatness, Maria Gannon and April Long. All of ISU’s first-teamers have received the honor in each season they have been eligible.

Representing Iowa State on the 2014 Academic All-Big 12 second-team was Alex Gustafson, Amanda Paulson and Katie Vollhaber.

Gustafson, a senior in environment science and political science, is now a three-time Academic All-Big 12 honoree – one first-team and two-second team. The Waukee, Iowa native is a 2012-13 Cardinal Key Recipient, a 2012 ISU Scholar Athlete and made the fall 2011 Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll.

A junior majoring in math, Deis adds this year’s Big 12 academic honors to a list of scholastic achievements including the fall 2011 Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll and 2013 Academic All-Big 12 first-team. Kleiner, a junior in microbiology, is also a second time Academic All-Big 12 first-teamer, earning ISU Newcomer of the Year and making the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll in her freshman campaign.

A junior in child, adult and family services and ISU’s school record holder in the 200 backstroke, Bre Loeschke, also made her second appearance on the Academic All-Big 12 first-team roster. Junior Kristy Kunkel, also studying child, adult and family services,  has recorded top-20 time in Iowa State school history in eight different events in her three seasons as a Cyclone.

Junior Ali Stearns, majoring in political science, earned her second consecutive Academic All-Big 12 first-team honors. Stearns recorded three top-20 times a year ago at the Big 12 Conference Championships in the 200 IM, 100 breaststroke and 200 breaststroke.

Wistey, an English major, is a two-time Kerry O'Brien Award winner, made the fall 2011 Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll and holds school records in the 100 and 200 breaststroke. The senior has earned Academic All-Big 12 first-team honors in each of the two seasons that she has been eligible.

A sophomore in graphic design, Alex Flatness took home a spot on the first-team roster in her first season eligible for the honor. The Ankeny, Iowa native recorded a top-20 performance in the 50 freestyle at the 2013 Big 12 Conference Championships with a time of 0:24.07.

Iowa State middle distance specialist Maria Gannon also earned first-team recognition for the first time in her career. The sophomore studying kinesiology and health posted a fifth-place finish in the 100 freestyle (0:55.23) at the 2013 Last Chance meet.

Rounding off the ISU first-team Academic All-Big 12 lineup is sophomore breaststroker April Long. Studying kinesiology and health, the Allen, Texas native tallied three top-20 performances at the 2013 Big 12 Conference Championships in the 400 IM, 100 breaststroke and 200 breaststroke.

First-team honorees consist of student-athletes who maintained a 3.20 GPA or higher, while second-team recipients earned a 3.00 to 3.19 GPA. To be eligible for the 2014 Academic All-Big 12 teams, student-athletes must have a 3.00 GPA or higher either cumulative or the two previous semesters and participated in 60-percent of all scheduled events. Freshmen and transfer students are not eligible in their first year with the team.

The Cyclones will be in action all week at the Big 12 Conference Swimming and Diving Championships in Austin, Texas.

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