MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – A trio of West Virginia University student-athletes have been named to CoSIDA Academic All-America Women’s At-Large Teams, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
Two from the five-time reigning national champion rifle team earned top accolades, as rising senior Elizabeth Gratz
was named to the first team and rising junior Ginny Thrasher
landed on the second team. Additionally, rising senior Amelie Currat
of the women’s swimming team was named to the third team.
Today’s honor is the second career accolade for Gratz, who was named to the third team in 2016. She is the fourth WVU rifle student-athlete to earn a first-team award and the first to do so since Olympic Gold Medalist and NCAA National Champion Nicco Campriani (2011).
Under 11-year coach Jon Hammond, seven different Mountaineers have garnered CoSIDA Academic All-America honors, and the squad has placed at least one shooter on a team in each of the last nine years.
“We’re really proud of Elizabeth and this great achievement,” Hammond said. “Earning a first-team honor is a special accomplishment not achieved by many. Elizabeth is a tremendous student-athlete, in the range and out, and this honor caps a fantastic year for her. She got the job done athletically and academically, and we are proud of her.”
A marketing major, Gratz boasts a 4.0 grade point average (GPA) and recently won the 2017 NCAA Elite 90 Award. A native of Sigel, Illinois, she also is a three-time Great America Rifle Conference (GARC) Scholar-Athlete and a two-time Academic All-Big 12 At-Large First Team honoree. Additionally, she has been named to the College Rifle Coaches’ Association (CRCA) All-Academic Team, as well as the President’s List, the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll and the Garrett Ford Academic Honor Roll.
Gratz helped the Mountaineers claim their fifth straight NCAA Rifle Championship in March. In her championship career debut, she placed fifth in air rifle with a 144.3 mark in the final. She also placed fourth in air rifle and seventh in smallbore at the 2017 GARC Championships, and last summer, she finished in third place at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Airgun. A nine-time All-American, Gratz shot an NCAA record 600 air rifle in February and finished with season averages of 593.2 air rifle and 583.3 smallbore.
A native of Springfield, Virginia, Thrasher earns her first career honor while boasting a 3.84 GPA in biomedical engineering. A member of the President’s and Dean’s Lists, she was named to the 2017 Academic All-Big 12 At-Large First Team and the CRCA All-Academic Team, in addition to the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll and the Garrett Ford Academic Honor Roll.
“Today’s award is another great achievement for Ginny,” Hammond added. “The last 12-14 months have been a roller coaster for her, and this accolade shows her all-around abilities to not only win NCAA titles and Olympic Gold medals, but to also achieve excellence in the classroom and represent West Virginia University. We are proud of Ginny.”
A 2016 Olympic Gold Medalist, the first of the Rio Summer Games, in women’s 10m air rifle, Thrasher also finished in 11th place in the women’s 50m rifle 3 positions. She was a finalist for the 87th AAU Sullivan Award and was named the 2017 CRCA Rifle Athlete of the Year, as well as the GARC Shooter of the Year. A six-time All-American, she finished in second place in smallbore (459.8 final) and seventh in air rifle (99.7 final) at the 2017 NCAA Rifle Championships. Thrasher also won the GARC air rifle title. She paced the National Champion Mountaineers this season with averages of 596.1 air rifle and 589.2 smallbore.
A native of Dunkerque, France, Currat maintains a 4.0 GPA in finance. The 2017 Big 12 Women’s Swimming and Diving Scholar-Athlete of the Year, she is the program’s fourth honoree since WVU joined the conference in 2012.
“I’m very proud and happy for Amelie,” WVU swimming and diving coach Vic Riggs said. “She is a very dedicated student-athlete, and this honor is well deserved. This achievement is an important part of our program, and to have Amelie be our team’s fourth CoSIDA Academic All-American is great.”
Currat is a two-time Academic All-Big 12 First Team honoree and was named to the Academic All-Big 12 Rookie Team as a freshman. She also has been named to the President’s List, Dean’s List, Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll and Garrett Ford Academic Honor Roll.
At the 2017 Big 12 Championship, Currat won a bronze medal as a member of WVU’s women’s 400-medley relay team. She received All-Big 12 Second Team honors for finishing fifth in the 200 backstroke with an NCAA B qualifying time of 1:57.66, the third fastest time in WVU history. In the 100 backstroke, she also was named to the All-Big 12 Second Team in the 100 backstroke with an NCAA B cut time of 54.54. She helped the women’s 400 and 800 freestyle relay teams to fourth-place finishes at the championship. Currat finished seventh in the 100 butterfly A final in 54.99, good for WVU’s ninth all-time.
For more information on the Mountaineers, follow @WVURifle and @WVUSwimDive on Twitter.