Dolphins Finish Third in A-Sun Academic Champion Rankings

June 16, 2004

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Jacksonville University athletics has capped a banner academic year by placing a record third out of 11 teams in the Atlantic Sun Conference Academic Champion Rankings for the 2003-04 season as 59.3 percent of the Dolphin student-athletes earned A-Sun Academic All-Conference honors, or 121 of the 204 who participated in A-Sun sports. In addition, 33 Dolphins were named to the Pioneer Football League Academic Honor Roll in the fall, while a school-record four JU student-athletes have earned national Academic All-America honors in 2003-04.

Senior Inge Heiremans (Tremelo, Belgium) from the women's soccer team became the first female athlete in school history to earn First-Team Academic All-America honors in the fall, while this spring softball's Dianna Korcak (Clearwater, Fla.), women's tennis' Kristina Puck (Hamburg, Germany) and men's tennis Ben Birkmann (Bremen, Germany) earned Second-Team Academic All-America honors. All four also joined Martin Hehensteiger (Schechen, Germany) from the men's tennis team as District III Academic All-Americans.

JU made remarkable improvement from last year, when the Dolphins placed fifth among league schools with 50 percent of its student-athletes participating in A-Sun sports earning academic all-conference honors. In addition, a record 154 Dolphins earned Dean's List honors for 2003-04, which is a 10 percent increase from a year ago, while 364 JU student-athletes earned a 3.0 or higher GPA during the fall and/or spring semester, a 28 percent increase from last year.

Belmont won the A-Sun All-Academic Trophy for the third consecutive year with a record 71.4 percent of all student-athletes being honored, surpassing their conference record of 69.0 percent from 2002-03. A record 52.7 percent of the A-Sun's student-athletes who participated during the 2003-04 season earned all-academic honors. Lipscomb finished second at 63.3 percent, followed by Jacksonville, Mercer (59.0 %) and Garner-Webb (52.7%), to round out the top five.

To be named A-Sun All-Academic, a student-athlete must achieve a 3.0 or higher grade point average in the classroom during their semester of competition. The Atlantic Sun sponsors the following sports: cross country, soccer, women's volleyball, basketball, tennis, golf, softball, baseball and track & field.