SAINT LEO, Fla. – After a solid season in the pool the Saint Leo University men's swimming team was honored for its academic accolades as they were one of just 16 teams in Division II to take home a College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) Team Scholar All-America award.
A high honor throughout all of the NCAA, the CSCAA presents the Team Scholar All America award to college and university swimming and diving teams who have achieved a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 of higher. The Lions earned the honor in both the Fall 2010 and Spring 2011 semesters, posting yet one more sweep in the past season.
For the first time, the Lions finished ranked in the top-25 in the College Swimming Coaches Association of America in both the men's and women's national polls and Saint Leo claimed both an individual representative at the NCAA Tournament (Maggie Walker) and an individual champion in the inaugural Sunshine State Conference Swimming Championships (Michael Cozzi, 1,000yd free).
Cozzi was one of a number of solid performers for the Lions as he claimed the SSC title in the 1,000 yard freestyle in the championship's first day. The conference second-team member set new marks for the Lions in swimming the 200, 500, 1000 1650 yard freestyle events and also in the 100 yard breaststroke. Cozzi earned his stripes as one of the Lions most enduring swimmer of the season as he was also a member of four relay teams that set new school records in 2010-11. His ultimate surprise came when he was named the 2011 Saint Leo Male Athlete of the Year at the Annual Athletic Award Banquet in April.
A sport that is a blend of individual accomplish and team achievements, the two newcomers were not the only ones to set marks in 2010-11. Other accomplishments include:
- Finish Season Nationally ranked, 23rd both sides
- Four CSCAA Academic All-Americans - Derek Maddigan, Michael Cozzi, Antonio Roki, Maggie Walker
- 26 Team Records broken vs. 16 last year
- Record improvement: 2009-2010 Record: 3-8 (SSC 0-6) 2010-2011 Record: 8-1-7(SSC 5-1-6)
Head Coach Paul Mangen will look to continue the upswing in Lions' Swimming both in the pool and academically when his 2011-12 group begins classes at the end of August.