Gymnastics Posts Fifth Highest GPA in the Nation
The Western Michigan gymnastics program achieved the fifth highest grade-point average in the nation for the 2015-16 academic year, according to the National Association of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches/Women. Collectively, the Broncos carried a 3.7206 GPA, marking the fifth-straight year Western Michigan has finished in the top 10 nationally.
“We all know the bar is set high here because there is a long history of excellence in the classroom by the gymnastics program,” head coach Penny Jernigan said. “We are very proud of our current student-athletes for continuing that tradition."
WMU had the highest GPA among Mid-American Conference institutions, marking the fifth straight season to lead the league. Its highest mark in that time was a second place finish nationally in 2013 when the Broncos posted a 3.8086 GPA.
“Finishing fifth in the nation this year and first in the MAC again is a tremendous accomplishment by our gymnasts,” Jernigan said. “They are remarkable young women who have found a way to balance the demands of both academics and athletics."
Western Michigan also had 14 of its student-athletes named to the NACGC/W All-Academic team, which is 87.5 percent of the Bronco roster. That total ranked fourth in the country. Three Broncos led the team with a perfect 4.0 GPA, Kayla Weber, Lauren Vandenberg and Rachael Underwood. Also earning NACGC/W All-Academic honors were Amanda Ruble, Anna Corbett, Audry Merritt, Brittany Aragon, Jackie Yates, Jessi Buis, Jessica Juncaj, Jessie Peszek, Katie Jennings, Kira Hoy and Rachel Binkley.
“Success like this takes commitment from all sides,” Jernigan said. “Jeff Stone and Stephanie Smiley of our academic staff do a fantastic job of helping our freshmen get off to a strong start and they continue to follow them throughout their careers here. Our gymnasts are putting in the long hours of studying and on our side, Coach Scharns and I are very tuned into the pressures they are under as student-athletes and even more so the pressure they put on themselves.”