Six Tritons Earn Capital One All-Academic Award

    Photo by Nolan Thomas/Guardian Fil
    Photo by Nolan Thomas/Guardian Fil

    The UCSD athletes qualified for District 8’s First Team with their consistently strong academic standings. 

    Photo by Nolan Thomas/Guardian Fil
    Photo by Nolan Thomas/Guardian File

    Six UCSD student-athletes were recently named to the 2014 Capital One Academic All-District At-Large First Team. Andie Nishimi, Sandy Hon, Luke Calkins, Drew Dickinson, Max Jiganti and Chase Cockerill were all chosen by the College Sports Information Directors of America for the NCAA Division II District 8’s handful of academically distinguished collegiate athletes.

    The six Tritons comprised the majority of the 11 total individuals who were selected from District 8, which includes a host of programs from the California Collegiate Athletic Association, Great Northwest Athletic Conference and Pacific West Conference, proving that UCSD has as much brain as it does brawn. Additionally, all six athletes qualified for NCAA teams in their respective sports.

    Nishimi is a junior attacker on the women’s water polo squad, which finished eighth at nationals earlier this month. She maintains an amazing 3.93 grade-point average with a cognitive science major. On top of earning this award for the first time, Nishimi achieved career-highs in goals (12), assists (nine) and steals (16) this season.

    Hon is an All-American senior swimmer who has a 3.60 GPA in psychology and minors in music. She swam in the 200 medley relay at the NCAA Championships, taking a fifth place finish while breaking the school record with a time of 1 minute 42.23 seconds. Hon has earned a spot in the NCAA in each of her four years and is a two-time College Swimming Coaches Association of America All-American.

    With a 3.94 GPA, senior diver and mechanical engineer Calkins excels in and out of the water. He was the Pacific Collegiate Swim and Dive Conference championship in the three-meter and one-meter, for which he also placed eighth and 11th, respectively, at nationals. Calkins earned the PCSC Championship’s Male Diver of the Meet and was awarded the prestigious 2014 NCAA Elite 89 Award, which similarly recognizes the nation’s brightest student-athletes. Impressively, this is Calkins’ third time winning the Capital One All-Academic award.

    Dickinson, one of the youngest members of the six, is a sophomore on the fencing team who holds a 3.79 GPA in biochemistry. He led UCSD to its 10th straight Intercollegiate Fencing Conference of Southern California title this year, while individually earning fifth place in sabre at the NCAA West Regional. Dickinson also took bronze in sabre at North American Cup.

    Jiganti is a senior on the men’s tennis team with a 3.66 GPA in his management science studies. He was the top member for men’s tennis, playing in the No. 1 singles — for which he is ranked 38th  in the nation — and No. 1 doubles slot this season. While the tennis team fell in the first round of the NCAA Championship to Midwestern State University, Jiganti won his doubles match against his No. 11 nationally ranked opponents.

    Cockerill, a sophomore utility with a 3.50 GPA in political science, had a tremendous season on the men’s water polo team. He set career-highs in goals (30), assists (45), steals (52) and just about every other individual category. His 45 assists, a team-high, inked him into the Triton record books as the No. 10 most assists in a single season.

    The six accomplished Tritons will now move on to the Capital One All-America team ballot, where they hope to qualify for the next level of awards as the entire nation’s most academically focused athletes.

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