FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – As announced on Thursday afternoon, Nova Southeastern swimmers Caily Friel and Alessandro Xella have earned spots on the 2020 Academic All-District® Men’s and Women’s At-Large Teams. Selected by CoSIDA, the Academic All-District teams recognize the nation’s top student-athletes for their combined performances in athletic competition and in the classroom. These are the fist Academic All-District® honors earned by NSU swimmers since Emma Wahlstrom and Victor Tarin in 2017.
“We’re so proud to see Caily and Alessandro be recognized for their performance in the classroom and the pool,” said head coach Ben Hewitt. “Their pursuit of excellence was evident all season and they are most deserving of this honor!”
Friel, a senior who boasts a 3.91 cumulative GPA while studying recreational therapy, is just as impressive in the pool as she is in the classroom. This season, Friel was crowned the 2020 Sunshine State Conference champion in the 100 breaststroke and was also a member of the 200 and 400 medley relay teams that earned SSC crowns in 2020. Both relay teams also set new NSU and SSC records at the 2020 NCAA Championships before the early cancellation due to COVID-19. Her outstanding 2020 season landed her on the All-SSC First Team. Additionally, Friel was named an NCAA All-American in four events in 2020. Academically, Friel is a two-time SSC Spring Commissioner’s Honor Roll honoree and was named to the 2019 CSCAA Scholar All-American Team and was a recipient of a 2019 D2ADA Academic Achievement Award.
Xella, a mathematics major who holds an impressive 3.83 cumulative GPA, was also named to the All-District® Men’s At-Large Team. Xella was a 2020 CSCAA Honorable Mention All-American in the 400 IM and was also named to the 2020 All-SSC Second Team. Last season, he earned the title of 2019 SSC Male Freshman Swimmer of the Year as well as a spot on the 2019 All-SSC Second Team. Academically, he was named to the 2019 SSC Spring Commissioner’s Honor Roll and CSCAA Scholar All-American Team.
Honorees selected first-team Academic All-District® will advance to the CoSIDA Academic All-America® ballot. Academic All-America® honorees will be announced from June 16-19.
The CoSIDA Academic All-District® teams include the student-athletes listed on the links below, and are divided into geographic districts across the United States and Canada.
2020 Academic All-District® Men’s At-Large Teams PDF
2020 Academic All-District® Women’s At-Large Teams PDF