BERKELEY, Calif. – For their stellar performances both athletically and in the classroom, three Golden Bears captured spots on Capital One Academic All-District 8 At-Large Teams, the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) announced Thursday. Women’s swimming & diving’s Rachael Acker and women’s gymnastics’ Alicia Asturias were selected to the Women’s At-Large First Team, while men’s golf’s Brandon Hagy claimed a Men’s At-Large First Team selection.
Aside from leading their respective teams to the NCAA postseason this year, all three student-athletes received the Golden Bear Award for having the highest grade point average among their teammates at the Student-Athlete Honors Luncheon earlier this month. Asturias and Hagy were also Cal’s Tom Hansen Pac-12 Conference Medal winners, awarded annually to one male and female student-athlete who exhibit the greatest combination of performance and achievement in scholarship, athletics and leadership.
To earn a spot on the all-academic teams, recipients must be a starter or important reserve and have participated in at least 50 percent of the team’s contests while earning at least a 3.30 cumulative GPA.
Each of the student-athletes is now eligible for the Capital One Academic All-America® ballot, where first-, second- and third-team All-America honorees will be selected later this month.
Rachael Acker – Women’s Swimming & Diving
A sophomore from Palo Alto on the women’s swimming & diving team, Rachael Acker sports a 3.93 GPA as a French major. She aspires to attend medical school, works in a biology lab on campus and was named first-team Pac-12 All-Academic earlier this spring.
In the pool, Acker helped Cal to an NCAA title in the 800 free relay this past March. She also was a member of the third-place 400 free relay and placed 11th in the 200 free and 14th in the 100 free individually at the national championships. Acker was a key factor in Cal’s Pac-12 team title, as well, swimming legs on the victorious 400 and 800 free relays and reaching the finals in both the 100 and 200 free. As a freshman in 2013, Acker captured the Pac-12 crown in the 200 free.
Alicia Asturias – Women’s Gymnastics
Alicia Asturias, a psychology major with a 3.83 GPA, finished her gymnastics career as one of the most decorated Golden Bears in program history. Along with her Tom Hansen Medal, this year she added second team NCAA All-American, Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year and NACGC West Region Gymnast of the Year distinctions. Her growing list of honors also includes multiple All-Pac-12 and Pac-12 All-Academic awards.
The Granite Bay, Calif. product led the Bears to their second consecutive NCAA Regional bid and was one of two Cal gymnasts to earn a place at the NCAA Championships. It was the first time a Cal gymnast competed at the championship event since 2003. Asturias claimed 12 event titles and turned in 27 top-three finishes while setting new career highs on every event.
Asturias plans to attend medical school to pursue pediatric orthopedics or psychological research.
Brandon Hagy – Men’s Golf
Senior Brandon Hagy is a business major with a 3.72 cumulative GPA who completed the work for his bachelor’s degree in December of 2013 and will graduate Monday from Cal’s prestigious Haas School of Business. The All-District honor is the latest on a long list of awards this season for the 2013-14 national player of the year candidate who has previously captured the Byron Nelson Award, Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year, Tom Hansen Pac-12 Conference Medal, co-team MVP honors, Cal’s Ben Furth Award and a Golden Bear Achievement Award. He was also a national semifinalist for The Ben Hogan Award, a first-team All-Pac-12 selection, and was chosen to represent Team USA in the 2014 Palmer Cup.
Hagy is ranked No. 5 on the most recent watch list for the Haskins Award, while he is the No. 7 collegiate player nationally in the latest Golfweek rankings and No. 8 according to Golfstat. Hagy has been an individual medalist three times this season and has finished in the top 10 in nine of 12 events with eight of those showings in the top five. He has also been Cal’s top finisher in four events and leads the team with a 70.83 stroke average.
Click here for a complete list of Capital One Academic All-District At-Large Selections.