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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • S&T swimmer Sponsler Academic All-America

  • Miner sophomore honored by Capital One.
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  • Missouri S&T sophomore swimmer Keith Sponsler, who had a hand in five championships at the inaugural Great Lakes Valley Conference Championships and then went on to earn All-America honors in the 2013-14 season, was named today to Capital One Academic All-America team in the at-large category.
    Sponsler, a second team selection, is majoring in nuclear engineering at Missouri S&T and earned All-America honors during the past year as part of the Miners' 200- and 800-freestyle relay teams. He swam the second leg for the Miners in the 800-free relay that finished as the national runner-up this year and was the best relay performance by a Miner team at the national meet since it won two national championships in 2002.
    In addition, Sponsler was part of the consolation championship team in the 400-yard freestyle relay at the NCAA Division II Championships and also competed in the meet in the 100- and 200-yard freestyle events. He broke the school record in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 20.39 seconds at the national meet, only to see it get broken by 0.01 a day later by Luke Norris (The Woodlands, Texas/The Woodlands).
    Sponsler earned all-conference laurels in the Great Lakes Valley Conference this season as he had a hand in five championship performances, including two on an individual basis in the 100- and 200-freestyle and as part of all three freestyle relay teams. His mark of 1:37.16 in the 200-yard freestyle at the conference meet set a new school record.
    Sponsler was among 13 swimmers chosen to the 45-member, three-team Academic All-America squad, which covers all sports that do not have a squad selected on its own behalf. He is one of four individuals from GLVC institutions named to the team along with Lewis volleyball player B.J. Boldog and tennis player Armand Levandi and Indianapolis tennis player Luke Hubert.
    With Sponsler's selection to the Capital One Academic All-America team, Missouri S&T now has earned 74 such awards in the program's history and its 50th since 2000, the fifth-most of any school in NCAA Division II. He is the fourth Missouri S&T student-athlete to earn Academic All-America honors this year and seventh individual from the swimming program to do so. Andrew Schranck was the most recent to earn the honor as he was a member of the 2012-13 team.

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