Alexandria Palm Recognized as GEICO Alumni of the Month

Nova Southeastern Athletics would like to recognize former women’s cross country and track and field athlete Alexandria Palm as its GEICO Alumni of the Month.

A 2014 graduate in Nursing, Palm began her professional career at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago in the Emergency/Trauma department. She went on to become an ER travel nurse in Denver and Phoenix. She was a pediatric ER nurse in Phoenix when the COVID-19 pandemic began and is transitioning to a career as a trauma flight nurse in northern California.
 
“Nova Southeastern Athletics taught me strength, resilience and ambition that I now use every day in my field of work,” Palm said. “I am so thankful for all my lifelong memories and experiences I gained while at Nova.”
 
From the moment Palm arrived from Winnebago High School in Illinois, it was obvious she would have a huge impact on the cross country program. From her rookie season in 2010, Palm kicked off a career rewriting the NSU history books – breaking the Sharks’ 5k and 6k records as a freshman, helping NSU to a second-place finish at the Sunshine State Conference (SSC) Championships and a fourth-place team ending at the NCAA South Regional. She finished seventh in the Regional race.
 
As a sophomore, Palm again led the Sharks to more history, maintaining the second-place team finish at the SSC Championships (in which she finished sixth) and pacing the Sharks to a third-place finish at the NCAA South Regional.
 
However, as Palm became an upperclassman, everything clicked into place. In 2012, Palm became the first women’s runner to win a Sunshine State Conference individual title. Notching first-team All-SSC accolades, Palm’s winning time of 21:51 set a school record in the 6k, surpassing her own mark by 12 seconds. The Sharks would again finish second and third at Regionals – with Palm coming in third in the Regional. Palm led the Sharks to their first team appearance at nationals as the lead runner – her 22:34 gave her sole possession of the five fastest 6k times in the NSU history book at the time.
 
Her final campaign as a Shark cemented her place in history, winning her second consecutive individual SSC Championship, being named the SSC Runner of the year, downing her own 6k record at 21:50 as the first runner to win the conference meet in back-to-back seasons since 2005 and crossing the line in second at the NCAA Regional. The Sharks again were third at Regionals and returned to the National meet.
 
On the track, Palm recorded a third-place 3000m finish at the NCAA South Regional as a rookie, was third in the Peach Belt 3000m steeplechase as a sophomore for an All-Region bid and finished out her NSU track career with a pair of personal bests for third in the Peach Belt 3000m steeple (11:34.37) and sixth in the 10,000m (40:18.53) in her third and final season, again notching All-Region honors.
 
As always, to stay up-to-date with Sharks Athletics, follow the official pages on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @NSUSharks.
 

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Bauer Garners 2019-20 CoSIDA Academic All-District Honors

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – For the first time since the 2016 season, the Nova Southeastern track and field program has registered a key postseason academic honor, as women’s distance runner Michelle Bauer has been named a member of the CoSIDA Google Cloud Academic All-District Women’s Track & Field/Cross Country First Team, officially announced on Friday.

The teams, divided geographically, recognize the nation’s top student-athletes for their combined performances in athletic competition and in the classroom. The CoSIDA Google Cloud Academic All-America program separately recognizes honorees in four divisions — NCAA Division I, NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III and NAIA.

Coming off her final seasons and an early graduation, Bauer (senior, St. Marys, Pa.) has earned her degree in Finance with a perfect 4.0, even while working through minors in Spanish, International Business, Honors Transdisciplinary Studies and Experiential Leadership.

A standout leader for the Sharks on the cross country course, Bauer paced all Sharks runners in each of the seven meets of the 2019 season – a feat she also achieved in 2017 as a rookie. In her career as a Shark, Bauer has topped the NSU scoring pack in 15-of-20 races. In 2019, Bauer produced three top-10 finishes, highlighted by a sixth-place crossing at the Florida Tech Invitational on Sept. 7. She leaves NSU with a top 5k time of 19:20.14, top 6k at 23:46.50 and three appearances at the NCAA South Regional Championships. On the track, Bauer twice finished fourth at the Peach Belt Championships in the 10,000m and twice was sixth at PBC in the 3000m steeplechase.

Bauer was named the 2020 NSU Scholar-Athlete of the Year at the annual Sharky’s Awards and received the Peach Belt’s Elite 15 Award. She is actively involved in the Razor’s Edge Leadership Program and is a six-time Dean’s List and Director’s List honoree, as well as being named three times to the Peach Belt Academic team and thrice to the SSC Commissioner’s Honor Roll.

Bauer will now advance to the CoSIDA Google Cloud Academic All-America ballot. Academic All-America honorees will be announced from June 22-25.

A complete list of the CoSIDA Google Cloud Academic All-District Women’s Track and Field/Cross Country Teams can be viewed here.

For more information about CoSIDA’s Google Cloud Academic All-District and Academic All-America Teams program, visit AcademicAllAmerica.com on CoSIDA.com.
 
 

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In a League of its Own: A Look Back at the Nova Southeastern Golf Dynasty

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Ah, the often debated term, “Dynasty”. What makes up a dynasty? Whether sports fans completely agree or not, we’ve all seen some form of them, ranging from the Chicago Bulls in the ’90s, to the New York Yankees at the turn of the century, and most recently the New England Patriots. In the midst of all the professional prowess, though, there was also another unique dynasty that arose a little over a decade ago at the collegiate level in the form of Nova Southeastern golf.

The athletic department on a relatively unknown campus in Davie, Fla. had just made the jump to the Division II ranks in the 2002-03 academic year, yet a little over six short years later, history was already being made. The date was May 16, 2009 to be exact when the women’s team from South Florida was the one to overcome the chilly Ohio weather, along with a pair of northern counterparts in Grand Valley State and Indianapolis, en route to not only the program’s first-ever National Championship, but the first of any kind for Nova Southeastern.

“I think getting that experience that first year (2008) really helped the girls going into the following year,” then-head coach Kevin Marsh said earlier this week in an interview. “From there, gosh I’m getting old, but I feel like 2009 was probably in Ohio – I think it was at Findlay that we won the National Championship. We wouldn’t have done it if we didn’t have the experience the year before and finishing runner-up in Houston.”

The excitement spilled over into the ensuing weeks and flowed into building a foundation that would sustain the Sharks for years to come. As ground-breaking and special as the first title felt, time would only prove that more were on the way.

The 2009 roster was filled with All-Americans in Sandra Changkija, Taylor Collins and Maria Garcia Austt, who would later each be inducted into the NSU Hall of Fame. Changkija would even later spend a healthy stint on the LPGA Tour from 2012-19, while Collins made her LPGA debut in 2013 after winning the Golf Channel’s Big Break Mexico. Fredrika Hakansson and Nicole Whitmore were also key contributors in that loaded lineup. Lucky for Marsh, though, Garcia Austt was still just a junior while the rest were all sophomores.

Fast forward 364 days later, and the Sharks were crowned back-to-back National Champions in Mesa, Ariz. – this time by a landslide, beating runner-up Rollins by a whopping 40 shots. The pressure to repeat appeared to be nonexistent, as the Sharks led from start to finish, further extending their lead during each of the four rounds. The 2010 team could very well go down as one the all-time greats in college golf history. The group not only boasted the National Player of the Year in Changkija, the National Freshman of the Year in Abbey Gittings, as well as three All-Americans, but also took home the Sunshine State Conference and regional titles as part of winning a remarkable nine of 11 overall tournaments that year.

The dominant stretch didn’t stop there, either. In 2011, Changkija capped her unrivaled career by becoming the first-ever women’s collegiate golfer to outright win the National Player of the Year award a fourth consecutive time. While she was rightfully expected to repeat as the individual National Champion, it was Collins who stole the show this time around, as she captured the individual title in Allendale, Mich. after posting an NCAA Division II Championship 72-hole record for lowest score in relation to par with a combined effort of 10-under 278.

But what was it that truly made the three-year run with that core group so memorable?

“I think it was the individuals,” said Marsh. “It was so fun to see how competitive they were individually, whether it was in workouts or whether it was in practice. It almost felt like when we got to tournaments that was the easy part because we had done so much preparation leading up to them. We were probably more competitive internally with each other. Just going through that whole process of the freshmen coming in, and over the four years seeing them finish with a National Championship – that was definitely the coolest part.”

The 2012 season was supposed to be a rebuild…or so the rest of the Division II landscape thought. Only Gittings returned from 2011’s championship lineup, and as a team, NSU battled through the spring with only four healthy players. Even then, Gittings powered through nagging back issues to win the individual national championship, with National Freshman of the Year Liliana Cammisa and fellow classmate Daniela Ortiz delivering clutch performances to lift the program to its fourth consecutive crown – Rollins had been the only previous DII team to accomplish the feat, doing so from 2003-06.

As the women celebrated history in Shelbyville, Ky., a mere 10 minutes down the road in Simpsonville, the NSU men’s team made history of its own that same afternoon, sweeping Chico State in a head-to-head final to earn its first very first national championship.

The Sharks needed a total strokes tiebreaker to advance to the national final, but once there, remained locked in and took advantage of the opportunity. Just a sophomore, Mitch Farrer rolled to an eight-stroke victory to give the team some early momentum. Three of the remaining four matchups were decided by one shot apiece, yet NSU never flinched.

The Phil Mickelson Award recipient as the top freshman golfer in Division II in 2012, Oscar Lengden entered the collegiate golf world as a champion and exited as a champion after helping the Sharks return to the pinnacle as a senior in 2015.

Yet on the season’s final day that spring, it was a pair of freshmen in Ethan Marcus and Priyanshu Singh that ignited the Sharks to their eventual 3-2 victory over SSC rival Lynn. The pair tallied the first two points for head coach Ryan Jamison‘s crew before it was an all-too-fitting ending that National Player of the Year Santiago Gomez tapped in for birdie on the final hole to seal the deal.

“It didn’t lack excitement, that’s for sure,” Jamison answered immediately after his team had clinched the championship that afternoon. “All the matches were tough, and the fourth match ended up being the deciding point, with Santiago (Gomez) beating (Jose Andres) Miranda. It was hard-fought, and I remember thinking in the fairway that this is the one kid I’d want in that situation, needing a birdie or par to win.”

So you ask, what exactly is a dynasty? Well according to an article written by Bleacher Report, “It starts with championships. Legitimate dynasties also are teams pegged with personality, superstar talent and consistent winning seasons.”

As for the championships – Six in seven years.

As for the superstar talent – Six National Players of the Year and 39 All-Americans.

And as for the winning seasons – Well, I think the championships can attest to that.

Safe to say NSU golf – at least from 2009-15 – fits the bill.
 
Championship Recaps
2009: Women’s Golf – Findlay Country Club, Ohio
2010: Women’s Golf – Longbow Golf Club, Ariz.
2011: Women’s Golf – The Meadows Golf Club, Mich.
2012: Women’s Golf – Persimmon Ridge Golf Course, Ky.
2012: Men’s Golf – Cardinal Club Golf Course, Ky.
2015: Men’s Golf – Rock Barn Golf and Spa, N.C.

Men’s Golf All-Americans
Women’s Golf All-Americans

 
 

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2019-20: A Year in Review

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The 2019-20 sports season included a multitude of firsts for the Nova Southeastern Sharks, including the early end to the spring season due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. While the end of the year could be filled with a long list of “what-ifs”, one thing is certain: the Sharks did not disappoint during the time they saw competition. Below is a year in review for your NSU Sharks.

WSOC2019 WOMEN’S SOCCER
The 2019 Nova Southeastern women’s soccer team will forever be remembered following its historic postseason run this past fall. For the fifth time in as many years under former head coach John Constable, the Sharks earned a berth into the NCAA Tournament, only this time they left a much bigger imprint. After stumbling in the Sunshine State Conference Tournament semifinal round, NSU showed great resolve by rebounding in the NCAA Tournament despite being seeded fifth out of six south region programs. NSU upset Montevallo in the opening round, garnering the program’s first-ever NCAA Tournament victory in the process, before beating host Mississippi College and SSC Tournament champion Embry-Riddle to hoist the program’s first South Region Championship trophy. The team’s 17 wins also marked a new single-season record.
 
MSOC2019 MEN’S SOCCER
Head coach Matt Watts has the NSU men’s soccer program on the cusp of something special following another strong showing in 2019. The Sharks rattled off a program-record five consecutive victories in the midst of Sunshine State Conference play last fall, en route to a repeat trip to the SSC Tournament semifinals – also a program first. The success in the SSC propelled NSU to its third straight winning season. With each of their Top-5 goal scorers back in 2020, the Sharks appear more than capable to finally punch their ticket to the NCAA Tournament.
 
VB2019 VOLLEYBALL
First year head coach Brian Rosen and the NSU volleyball squad made a statement in 2019, recording their first 20-win season since 2008, including 12 Sunshine State Conference wins – the most in program history. NSU saw multiple postseason honors for Alex Boone and Ally Ford, who became the Sharks’ first All-Americans since 2017, while also earning All-South Region and All-SSC accolades. Academically, the volleyball team led the athletic department on the women’s side with the 3.59 fall semester team GPA, before posting a program-high 3.64 winter semester team GPA. Their 3.61 annual GPA was also a program-high. The Sharks return 11 players including six starters, which makes this a team to keep an eye out for in the near future.
 
XC2019 MEN & WOMEN’S CROSS COUNTRY
In the fall, the Sharks cross country squads were paced by two steady leaders, namely senior Michelle Bauer and freshman Trey May. Much like her rookie campaign, Bauer led the Sharks in each of the seven outings, producing three top-15 finishes and coming in 28th at the Sunshine State Championships and 45th at the NCAA South Regional. The Apopka, Fla. rookie, May showed his leadership early, opening his career with the first of three top-15s on the season and led the Sharks in six races, finishing 25th at the SSC Championships. The Sharks proved strong in the classroom as well, with 15 student-athletes named to the SSC Commissioner’s Honor roll. NSU developed some quality depth heading into 2020, with 16 Sharks returning to next year’s squads.
 
Swim2019-20 MEN & WOMEN’S SWIMMING
Despite the NCAA DII National Championship meet getting halted just a day and a half in, the Nova Southeastern swim teams still made strides during the 2019-20 season, which included a fifth Sunshine State Conference crown for the women’s team, seven new program records, seven individual SSC Champions, 12 All-SSC awards and head coach Ben Hewitt‘s honor of SSC Women’s Coach of the Year title. At the national championship meet, the women’s 200 medley relay team made up by Cassandra Wright, Caily Friel, Sasha Maslova and Jenna Johns earned the bronze with their time of 1:40.13, posting a new Sunshine State Conference and institution record. The quartet also posted a new SSC and NSU record in the 400 medley relay, as their leadoff swimmer, Wright, also broke her previous record in the 100 backstroke set at the 2020 SSC Championships with her new time of 52.94. She was just .49 seconds away from a new NCAA Division II record. Out of the pool, the women’s team also recorded their program’s highest ever winter semester GPA, 3.68, while also finishing the year with a program-high annual GPA of 3.61.
 
WBB2019-20 WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
Consistently one of the toughest teams in the Sunshine State Conference, the women’s basketball team put up some impressive numbers this past season. Jordan Tully picked up multiple postseason accolades including being named to the All-SSC First Team, the first time since 2016 for a Shark to find their name on the top team. Also earning Division II Conference Commissioners Association (D2CCA) All-Region Second Team honors, Tully led the squad and the SSC with her 18.1 points per game, in addition to a 4.6 rebounds per game average. As a team, the Sharks led the league in blocks with 100 and in blocks per game (3.57), and were ranked third with their 43.5 percent shooting from the field. The Sharks also finished the year with toughness in the classroom, producing a 3.59 winter semester GPA.

 
MBB2019-20 MEN’S BASKETBALL
How were the Sharks going to follow up their South Region Championship from the year prior? Well, head coach Jim Crutchfield and company added 23 more wins in 2019-20, and in doing so, climbed all the way to the top of the college basketball rankings in the month of December for the first time in program history. An All-American as a redshirt junior, Mark Matthews lived up to the billing once more in his final collegiate season, leaving behind an imprint that’ll be remembered by Shark fans for years to come. NSU returned to the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive season, and with a youthful core intact, has the pieces to be right back in the postseason come 2021. The Sharks also put in the work in the classroom setting program GPA records in the winter semester (3.30) and on the year (3.24).
 
Tennis2019-20 TENNIS
Working to the midpoint of another outstanding year under fourth-year head coach Doug Neagle, the women’s tennis team earned an official final ranking of third nationally from the Intercollegiate Tennis Association for the highest final ranking in the program’s history. With an 8-1 record together this spring, sophomore Natalie Espinal and senior Sarah Wardenburg teamed to earn the nation’s No. 1 doubles ranking, which stood through the conclusion of the season. The pair were 7-2 and 8-2, respectively – with Espinal also ranking No. 4 in national singles. First-year junior Karolina Snita went a team-high 11-0 in singles to join Espinal and Wardenburg as ITA All-Americans – the first time in program history the Sharks have featured three such honorees. Ending the short campaign with a 13-1 record, the Sharks notched a .929 winning percentage, downed five nationally-ranked opponents and won nine matches by sweep. In the classroom, the Sharks turned in a 3.48 team GPA during the winter semester.

 
WGolf2019-20 WOMEN’S GOLF
Led by All-Americans Hanna Ahlander, Valentina Albertazzi and Sofia Garcia Austt, the Nova Southeastern women’s golf team finished the 2019-20 year with a No. 1 next to its name. Despite a gut-wrenching halt to a season filled with endless potential, the Sharks proved to be the very best in Division II by earning victories in four of their seven tournament appearances. The aforementioned trio each ranked among the nation’s Top-20 individually, while Albertazzi even went on to become the fifth NSU player in program history to be named the WGCA Freshman of the Year. The Sharks have now won a combined 17 tournaments over the past three seasons. Head coach Heather Wall‘s squad delivered a stellar 3.63 team GPA to conclude the winter semester.
 
MGolf2019-20 MEN’S GOLF
With a roster full of new faces, including five true freshmen, the Nova Southeastern men’s golf team proved a bright future may be in store following a 2019-20 campaign in which it gradually improved as the year wore on. Freshman Mike Hay finished the season as the team’s highest ranked player, while Tomas Millet’s victory at the Saint Leo Invitational – the first of his career – marked the sixth straight year a Sharks player had won an individual title. Perhaps even more impressive, off the course, NSU compiled a team GPA of 3.30 – the program’s highest to date.
 
Rowing2019-20 ROWING
In this shortened season, the women’s rowing squad was halted just prior to their first true competition of the season – scheduled for the SSC Double Dual in Miami Beach on March 14 after promising spring scrimmages with Florida Tech and Barry. In the fall, NSU saw some early success with a fourth-place V8 finish at the Head of the Indian Creek, as well as a fourth-place mark against top DII and DI competition at Stetson’s Hatter Invitational. The 25 Sharks were lined up for a successful season on the water but successfully turned their focus to academics, producing a 3.41 team GPA and three rowers with a perfect 4.0. Their future opportunities look bright, as seven crew members from the V8 return for next season.
 
Track2020 MEN & WOMEN’S TRACK & FIELD
The Sharks’ competitions were quite limited on the track, only running three meets before the season was cut short. In that time, junior Destinee Fisher rose to the top of the Peach Belt Conference standings in the women’s 100m hurdles with a 14.93 at the Bobcat-Shark Relays in Miramar, just ahead of freshman teammate Jasmine Charles, who occupies the No. 2 spot at 15.09. At the same meet, the squad of Christina Adams, Megan Fleming, Sophia Leto and Aliza Richard adjusted the women’s 4x800m relay record at 10:11.74, downing the prior mark that had stood since 2011. In addition to 14 Sharks named to the Peach Belt Teams of Academic Distinction, both senior Michelle Bauer and sophomore Quynlan Duffy earned the PBC’s Elite 15 Award – both registering a cumulative 4.00 GPA. Duffy also ranked second in the PBC with a monster 4.10m personal best in the pole vault. In addition, sophomore Charissa Bacon was named the NSU Wonder Women Award winner by the Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship in partnership with the NSU Career Development office. The women’s squad achieved a 3.33 in the winter semester, while the men reached 3.10.

Softball2020 SOFTBALL
Off to their best start in years, the NSU softball team was just about halfway through their season before the early end. With a record of 19-10, the Sharks had just seen an 11-game win streak come to an end in their final game of 2020. As a team, the Sharks led the Sunshine State Conference with their 76 stolen bases, ranking them third in NCAA DII softball. Senior centerfielder Sydney Lageyre was having the best year of her career, leading the squad with her batting average (.419), slugging percentage (.500) and 21 stolen bases. During the first week March, she was named both the Sunshine State Conference Player of the Week and 2020 Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division II Player of the Week for her outstanding play during games played Mar. 2-8. Off the field, the Sharks earned a program-high winter semester GPA of 3.37, while also finishing 2019-20 with a program-high cumulative GPA of 3.20. 

Baseball2020 BASEBALL
Facing a schedule that provided 14 of the first 22 contests against ranked opposition in the first year under coach Laz Gutierrez, the No. 23 Sharks baseball bounced back from a challenging start and were just starting to hit a stride when the pandemic brought the season to an end. The Sharks had just won both Sunshine State Conference series, on the road at top-15 ranked opponents and had clinched victory in five of the final seven games. The Sharks were tied for the top league win percentage in the SSC standings at the time of the stoppage. NSU’s aggressive baserunning played a major role in the turn and the Sharks led the SSC and ranked fourth nationally with 65 stolen bases (2.95/game). They also were proving heady on the defensive end, ranking 14th in the NCAA with 19 double plays (0.86/game). Some standouts were starting to deliver, as sophomore Duncan Pastore was batting .330 with an NCAA sixth-best 11 doubles, while senior Brandon Chinea was pacing the team with a .369 average. A pair of freshmen were beginning to make their mark, as second baseman Tyler Epstein stepped in due to injury and was hitting .367 with 16 runs, five doubles and nine steals – on the mound Cooper Omans notched a 3-0 record and 1.45 ERA with 19 strikeouts in 18.2 innings, holding both Barry and Embry-Riddle without a run in two key league victories.

2020 ACADEMICS
2019-20 was a banner year for the Sharks in the classroom, across the entire department. After producing a record fall departmental GPA at 3.27, NSU student-athletes redirected their winter semester focus in the face of adversity to deliver a record 3.40 semester GPA. For their efforts, the Sharks raised the bar academically with a new program record of a whopping 3.33 annual mark. That’s now 18 consecutive years with the department over 3.0 and the fourth year in a row NSU has reached a 3.20 or better as program.
 
As always, to stay up-to-date with the Sharks this offseason, follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @NSUSharks.
 
 

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Sharks Shine Academically with Program-Best Winter Semester to Cap Record-Setting Year

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The winter semester provided more evidence that nothing can stop a determined Shark, as Nova Southeastern student-athletes not only extended the program’s gold-standard academic tradition, but showed perseverance in excelling at record levels in spite of this semester’s obstacles. The Sharks produced a program-wide 3.40 grade point average for the program’s highest winter semester mark, coupling with the fall’s 3.27 to earn the highest annual departmental GPA on record at 3.33.
 
Of NSU’s 17 NCAA Division II intercollegiate programs, 16 squads posted a 3.0 or higher team GPA, with 80 percent of student-athletes individually exceeding a 3.0. Closing out the 2019-20 academic year with a perfect semester, a program-record 38 student-athletes garnered a 4.00 GPA and 59 Shark student-athletes graduated during the 2019-20 academic year. There were 90 student-athletes who earned a spot on the NSU Director’s List above a 3.80 GPA, while 223 Sharks were named Scholar Athletes with a GPA of 3.25 or better.
 
“While this semester proved to be unusual and filled with unexpected challenges, it should come as no surprise that our Shark student-athletes again demonstrated their determination and resilience with their record-setting academic performances,” Assistant Athletic Director for Academic Services and Student-Athlete Support Rachel Fineberg said. “I am so proud of each and every one of our student-athletes for their commitment to academic excellence. Congratulations to our recent Shark graduates! We look forward to the day that we can welcome you home and celebrate with you and your loved ones.”

The Shark leaders in the winter hailed from women’s swimming with an NSU-high 3.68 GPA for a new program semester-best, en route to a new top annual GPA. Taking the lead spot for the fifth consecutive semester, the men’s soccer team also posted its best academic year to date thanks to a 3.56 winter semester GPA that again paced all men’s programs.

Barely edged out by the swimmers, not only returning to prominence with a 20-win season for the first time since 2008, women’s volleyball delivered program highs for the year and the winter semester at 3.64 this term. Volleyball held only a slight advantage over the NCAA No. 1-ranked women’s golf squad, which produced a 3.63 this semester.
 
Adding another pair of annual highs on the men’s side, men’s golf posted a program winter semester-high 3.38, while men’s basketball reached 3.30 for a program high this term.

This is the eighth consecutive semester and fourth year in a row that the NSU student-athletes have posted a 3.20 or better GPA (and 20 straight semesters in excess of 3.0), which began when NSU posted the previous annual record at 3.29 in 2016-17. With the new record 3.33 on the books, the 2019-20 Sharks have once again raised the bar for future classes.

Now for the 18th consecutive year, NSU Athletics has finished with a 3.0 or higher department GPA dating back to 2002-03 – the first year of NCAA competition. Additionally, for the last eight academic years, NSU student-athletes have earned a 3.15 or better.

To follow the Nova Southeastern Sharks on social media, please go to @NSUSharks on Twitter and Instagram, as well as /NSUSharksAthletics on Facebook.

 
 

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Garcia Austt Captures Second Straight Academic All-District Award

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – For the second time in as many years, Nova Southeastern women’s golfer Sofia Garcia Austt has been named a member of the CoSIDA Academic All-District Women’s At-Large First Team, officially announced on Thursday.

The teams, divided geographically, recognize the nation’s top student-athletes for their combined performances in athletic competition and in the classroom. The CoSIDA Academic All-America program separately recognizes honorees in four divisions — NCAA Division I, NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III and NAIA.

The At-Large teams consist of student-athletes across 14 intercollegiate sports, including: beach volleyball, bowling, crew, fencing, field hockey, golf, gymnastics, ice hockey, lacrosse, rifle, skiing, swimming, tennis, and water polo.

Already a two-time All-American on the course, Garcia Austt will now look to become a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-American following her junior year in which she’s continued to boast a 3.85 cumulative GPA while studying Business Management. As an integral piece of the No. 1-ranked NSU women’s golf team, Garcia Austt rattled off five Top-10 finishes in seven tournaments before concluding 2019-20 ranked as Division II’s No. 11 player. Over the course of 20 rounds, she recorded a scoring average of 73.80, including four rounds of par or better. Garcia Austt opened the year by tying for fourth at the Division I-heavy BUBBA Burger Jacksonville Classic, and later tied for second at the NSU Shark Invitational following an opening round of (-4) 68.

Garcia Austt will now advance to the CoSIDA Academic All-America ballot. Academic All-America honorees will be announced from June 16-19.

A complete list of the CoSIDA Academic All-District Women’s At-Large Teams can be viewed here.

 For more information about CoSIDA’s Academic All-District and Academic All-America Teams program, visit AcademicAllAmerica.com on CoSIDA.com.

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Friel, Xella Earn 2020 CoSIDA Academic All-District Honors

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   
 

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Five Ways to Keep Your Mind Active During the Summer

When spring semester is over, it can be tempting to sit around, take naps and watch TV. Most students can lose up to 60 percent of what they learned in the past year over the summer, but you don’t have to be a victim of brain drain. Here are six ways you can keep your mind alert and active over the summer.

  1. Volunteer. Volunteering will help you stay on your feet and active in the community. This is also an opportunity to make friends and learn about people who are different from yourself. Giving your time to others who need it most is emotionally uplifting!
  2. Land an internship. Work experience outside of college can be invaluable and beneficial for any student. You’ll get to take a real-world look at your preferred industry, and you can begin to determine if it offers the career path you want to pursue.
  3. Summer courses. There are plenty of websites that offer free courses, such as Coursera and edX. Did you know that many of these websites are launched by accredited universities? Why not come back to school with some awesome, brand new knowledge?
  4. Read books. Instead of browsing Facebook, pick up that book you’ve been meaning to read on your shelf. College students have become embroiled in technology and social media, but books will strengthen your vocabulary and think more creatively.
  5. Exercise. Working out doesn’t have to be a drag. Riding a bike or going swimming are fun ways to keep your body moving and those endorphins active.  If going to the gym bores you, or the equipment intimidates you, bring a friend along!
  6. Keep a list of goals. Nothing will challenge your mind more than coming up with a bucket list – what are those key things you want to see and do throughout your lifetime? If it’s a bigger goal, you can start taking steps this summer to achieve it.

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Sharks in the Pros: Catching Up with Former NSU Men’s Soccer Player OT Bah

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. –  In the midst of the unprecedented pandemic, NSUSharks.com caught up with former Nova Southeastern men’s soccer player OT Bah on Monday, as the current pro was kind enough to take a moment to discuss his first season at the next level, how’s he’s handled the Coronavirus, his time at NSU and more.  
 
What is the name of the club you are with?

“Miami FC.”                                                        ​​​​​​​                                                                ​​​​​​​                    ​​​​​​​                                ​​​​​​​        ​​​​​​​            ​​​​​​​                ​​​​​​​

What league/level does the club compete in?

“The United Soccer League (USL) Championship, Second Division.”

Describe, personally, how you think your first season went.

“My first season at Miami FC was good. I learned a lot and grew as a professional player.”

 How successful was the team this past season?

“The team was very successful during the 2019 season. We won three titles – the South Region, Conference, and National Championship during the 2019 season.”

 What is your favorite part about playing professionally?

“My favorite part about playing professionally is just doing what I love, which is playing soccer. Most importantly, doing it at a higher level with good competition.”

What has been the toughest thing to adjust to as a professional player?

“Being a professional player comes with a lot of responsibilities. Everything must be done a certain way to benefit the team. It is more of a job rather than just for fun. Every job has its own stress.”

How would you describe the jump of competing at the collegiate level as compared to the pro level?

“The first few weeks for me was a bit difficult. When you are playing with guys, whether older or younger, who have played at the professional level for a while, the competition is a lot tougher. It takes time to adjust and compete with them.”

Was there any sort of eye-popping moment where you said to yourself, “Wow, this definitely isn’t college anymore?”

“The speed of play on a professional level is a lot faster. Players think a lot faster and everyone knows exactly what they are doing. Soccer IQ is higher, as players on a pro level train to think and play faster and smarter.”

What’s been your reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic?

“The Covid-19 pandemic was a shock to me. I did not see it coming. At first, when it was in China, I did not take it seriously. However, I have been following the rules and putting in place the necessary measures to stay safe, healthy and active.”

Are you still in the South Florida area during this time?

“Yes, I am.”

What has the club put in place to keep everyone on the same page/in form during this time?

“As a club, we have a workout and technical plan that we have been following during this time. We have a team workout session every Monday, Wednesday and Friday via Zoom. We have technical sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays.”

What have you personally been able to do in terms of training?

“As I mentioned previously, I work out with the team in the morning. I also do my personal training in the afternoon in the backyard of my apartment, or go for a run at a golf course nearby.”

How did your time at NSU prepare you to play professionally?

“The competition at NSU was good. Having had two coaches that also played on the professional level, and had lots of experience in coaching helped. Although it was collegiate soccer, the coaches made sure that some level of professionalism was implemented.”

How much did you follow the NSU team this past season? 

“I went to several of their home games this past season. I tried to go to as many home game as possible.”

What do you miss most about being a part of the NSU team?

“NSU will always be a part of me. I had so many great experiences both on and off the field. I miss just being part of the team. Having to chat with the coaches, my teammates, going on trips, being together, etc. I miss the campus, the gym, the UC, all of it.”

What piece of advice would you give a collegiate player hoping to make it to the next level?

“Work hard, be humble, and enjoy the process.”
 
 
To stay up-to-date with the Sharks this offseason, follow them on both Instagram and Twitter @NSU_MSoccer.
 
 
 
 
 

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Sharks Track Notches 14 on Peach Belt Teams of Academic Distinction

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Officials from the Peach Belt Conference announced on Thursday the league’s 2019-20 Track & Field Teams of Academic Distinction, and 14 student-athletes from Nova Southeastern were among those recognized for academic accolades.
 
The NSU women’s and men’s track and field squads each registered seven honorees apiece.
 
Representing the women’s team are sophomore Charissa Bacon (Marketing/Lakewood, Wash.), who recently won NSU’s Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship Wonder Women Award, as well as Peach Belt Elite 15 Award winner senior Michelle Bauer (Finance/St. Marys, Pa.). Also among honorees for the women’s squad are junior Tiara Robinson (Biology/Oakland Park, Fla.), sophomore Carly Rothert (Biology/Elmore, Ohio), senior Katie Tallman (Athletic Training/York, Pa.), senior Morgan Will (Marine Biology/Virginia Beach, Va. and graduate student Ellyn Willse (Marine Science/Fort Walton Beach, Fla.).
 
Representing the men’s team not just in these honors, but also as the men’s Peach Belt Elite 15 Award winner is Quynlan Duffy (Biology/Ripon, Wisc.), as well as sophomore Inigo Cillero (Finance/Getxo, Spain), junior Justin Jackson (Sport Management/Miami, Fla.), senior Joel Lacy (Marketing/Plantation, Fla.), senior Mitch Moczygemba (Sport Management/Medford, Ore.), senior Jared Robinson (Legal Studies/Gainesville, Fla.) and sophomore Andrew Swanson (Biology/Bakersfield, Calif.).
 
Formerly known as the All-Academic team, the Teams of Academic Distinction are part of a season-long program recognizing the outstanding accomplishments of PBC student-athletes in the classroom as well as in competition. To be eligible for the All-Academic team, a student-athlete must achieve a 3.30 cumulative grade point average (on a 4.0 scale), have completed at least one full academic year at his or her current institution and have reached sophomore athletic eligibility. The Peach Belt Conference Sports Information Directors oversee the program.

To keep up with the Sharks track and field programs, please follow @NSU_XCTF on Twitter and Instagram, and on Facebook at /NSUXCTF.
 

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