ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Three University of Michigan student-athletes were named Academic All-District selections on Thursday (May 11), the announcement coming from the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). The honorees include seniors Nicole Artz (women's gymnastics) and Kinsey Vear (rowing), and junior PJ Ransford (men's swimming and diving).
Selected by CoSIDA members, the Academic All-District distinction is given to student-athletes for their combined athletic and academic accomplishments. All three student-athletes earned first-team honors and will now advance to the CoSIDA Academic All-America Team ballot, where first-, second- and third-team All-America honorees will be selected later this month. To be eligible for Academic All-America consideration, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative grade-point average of 3.30 (on a scale of 4.00), have reached sophomore athletic and academic standings at his/her current institution and be nominated by his/her sports information director.
Nicole Artz | Women's Gymnastics
Artz, a senior from Holland, Michigan, was named to the all-district team for the second straight season. The elementary education major went on to earn Third Team Academic All-America accolades in 2016. During her senior season, she was named Michigan's female Big Ten Medal of Honor recipient, the highest award given to a Michigan student-athlete. She was the 2017 Big Ten Gymnast of the Year, NACGC/W Northeast Region Gymnast of the Year, a NACGC/W Second Team All-American on bars and floor, the Big Ten all-around champion and NCAA Regional beam champion. Artz will finish her Michigan degree as a student teacher next year.
PJ Ransford | Men's Swimming and Diving
Ransford, a junior from Pittsford, New York, earns Academic All-District honors for the second consecutive year. He was the recipient of the 2017 Elite 90 Award for Men's Swimming and Diving, given annually to the student-athlete with the highest grade-point average at the NCAA Championships. Ransford was an NCAA All-American in the 1,650-yard freestyle, finishing sixth, and had three top-six individual finishes at the Big Ten Championships. He represented Team USA at the 2016 FINA World Swimming (25m) Championships in Windsor, Canada, finishing 13th in the 1,500-meter freestyle. Ransford is enrolled in the College of Engineering, majoring in mechanical engineering.
Kinsey Vear | Rowing
This recognition for Vear, a senior from Marquette, Michigan, marks her first career Academic All-District honor, but it is not the first classroom-based accolade of her career. Last spring, she earned the Elite 90 award for having the highest GPA among all competing student-athletes at the 2016 NCAA Championships and she has received numerous U-M awards, including highest academic honors in her senior season. An evolutionary anthropology major, Vear began her career rowing on the 2V8 boat. She has since been a linchpin in the 1V4 boat, which made the Grand Final at last year's NCAA Championships and placed third in the Big Ten last spring. The 1V4 boat has eight race wins this season, and is the top seed headed into Sunday's (May 14) Big Ten Championships.
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