Sixteen teams within the Barton Community College Athletic Department earned honorable mention distinction within the NJCAA for achieving a team cumulative 3.0 grade point average or better.
The Cougars nearly captured the national top spot in both the volleyball and men's soccer listings in finishing runner-up, while the baseball and women's golf programs finished third nationally as the department placed eight teams in the national top ten.
Under first year head coaches, the Cougar volleyball and men's soccer teams found themselves just shy of the nation's top academic achievement. The lady spikers under Coach Brandon Stephenson felt the heartbreak of being just .03 out of the nation's top spot with a department high 3.83 excellence in the classroom. Finishing behind North Platte Community College's 3.86 high honors, the Lady Cougars were the top Division I program as 121 schools around the nation achieved the 3.0 standard.
Coach Mike Brown was equally impressive with his men's pitch players as the squad compiled a 3.31 GPA to finish runner-up behind Harcum College's 3.40 in the sixteen team award achievers.
Giving Barton two teams with a third place finish, Coach Brent Biggs' thirty-seven man baseball roster compiled a 3.42 GPA beating out eighty other schools earning distinction while Coach Doug Kaiser's women's golf squad's 3.66 GPA ranked ahead of twenty-three other schools.
Overall, fifteen of the sixteen teams to meet the minimum requirement placed in the nation's Top-25 as Coach Kaiser's men's golf team was the only team on the outside as the team's 3.04 GPA placed 29th out of thirty four teams. The lone Barton teams not to make the nation's honorable mention list were still stellar in their classroom work as the men's indoor track and field team compiled a 2.94 GPA while the wrestling team was close behind at a 2.90 GPA.
In addition to their national standings, the Cougars also fared very well amongst their Region VI peers in claiming four of the top spots. Baseball, men's soccer, women's tennis, and the volleyball programs were best in the region with the other twelve teams in the top four with five coming in second best regionally: men's basketball, men's cross country, women's golf, men's tennis, and men's outdoor track and field.
List of Barton Athletic Teams, Grade Point Average, National Rank, Region Rank:
Baseball (3.42) – 3rd national placing; 1st in Region VI
Basketball - Men's (3.17) – 12th national placing; 2nd in Region VI
Basketball – Women's (3.32) – 25th national placing; 3rd in Region VI
Cross Country – Men's (3.15) – 10th national placing; 2nd in Region VI
Cross Country - Women's (3.23) – 16th national placing; 3rd in Region VI
Golf - Men's (3.04) – 29th national placing; 4th in Region VI
Golf - Women's (3.66) – 3rd national placing; 2nd in Region VI
Soccer - Men's (3.31) – 2nd national placing; 1st in Region VI
Soccer - Women's (3.26) – 18th national placing; 3rd in Region VI
Softball (3.50) – 13th national placing; 3rd in Region VI
Tennis - Men's (3.28) – 15th national placing; 2nd in Region VI
Tennis - Women's (3.44) – 16th national placing; 1st in Region VI
Track and Field (Indoor) – Men's (2.94) *Only one team nationally was above 3.0 GPA
Track and Field (Indoor) – Women's (3.07) – 6th national placing; 3rd in Region VI
Track and Field (Outdoor) – Men's (3.01) – 6th national placing; 2nd in Region VI
Track and Field (Outdoor) – Women's (3.13) – 8th national placing; 3rd in Region VI
Volleyball (3.83) – 2nd national placing; 1st in Region VI
Wrestling (2.90) - *Only one team nationally was above a 3.0 GPA
The nation's 740 record number of teams with a 3.0 GPA or better follows the NJCAA's earlier announcement of a record-number 6,006 student-athletes earning distinction on one of three prestigious 2016-17 NJCAA All-Academic Teams following their success in the classroom.
With over 59,000 student-athletes participating in the NJCAA for the 2016-17 academic year, 10.1 percent earned a slot on one of the three highly regarded All-Academic Teams – a significant increase from the last year's record number of 7.9 percent.
Barton earned a nation's third best fifty-five individual awards helping Region VI capture 709 awards to claim the most winners across the nation for the second straight year.
More information regarding the NJCAA can be found online at www.njcaa.org.