How to be an Academic All-American

The+Augustana+womens+basketball+team+huddles+up+after+the+first+quarter+of+their+game+against+Illinois+Weslyan+that+took+place+on+Wednesday+night+in+the+Carver+Center.+Photo+by+LuAnna+Gerdemann.

The Augustana women’s basketball team huddles up after the first quarter of their game against Illinois Weslyan that took place on Wednesday night in the Carver Center. Photo by LuAnna Gerdemann.

Augustana has become widely known for both academic and athletic achievement and is recognized with the likes of Notre Dame and Stanford in the area of Academic All-American Athletes.
This prestigious award is voted on nationally to recognize scholar athletes who qualify in three aspects. First they must be at least a sophomore. Second they must be high achieving in their respective sport. Lastly they also have at least a 3.3 GPA.
Mike Zapolski, the Director of Athletics, explained after voting at the collegiate level, followed by the district levels, students are then included in a vote at the national level, where Augustana has been fortunate enough to accumulate 161 athletes in the college’s history.
Augustana college is currently ranked third among all Division III schools. Emory College is in second with 164 and MIT is in first with 240.
The Associate Director of Athletics, Dave Wrath, believes that every athlete who becomes an Academic All-American is meant to receive the award.
“There are no accidental winners, but not all who deserve it receive it,” Wrath said. “It’s a high achievement.”
This year, while keeping it’s seventh place in the nation ranking of Academic All-American’s, Augustana has three student athletes being recognized for this achievement, including junior Hannah Lohmeier, a center-mid on the women’s soccer team.
Lohmeier looked up to a senior Academic All-American when she first joined the team her freshman year and insisted she earn this achievement. Lohmeier said that becoming an Academic All-American has been tough, but her conviction and adoration for the team boosted her to becoming one.
“I really haven’t made any sacrifices. I have such a love for the sport, and the team is filled with great role models. All I had to do was work hard and know what I want,” Lohmeier said. “The coaches stress academics so we really prioritize our time, especially on our long bus rides. You can look around and everyone has a book out, which really encourages me.”
In addition, Lohmeier said her hard work on and off the field helped her attain the award, but the help of her teammates has been her greatest source of inspiration.
“If we weren’t such a great team, if we didn’t work as hard, we wouldn’t be on the radar, and I wouldn’t be able to receive this,” Lohmeier said.
Lohmeier is a biochemistry major and is involved in not only soccer but the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.