Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Wrestling: Four Sooners Named Academic All-Big 12

Four University of Oklahoma student-athletes were named to the 2013 Academic All-Big 12 Wrestling Team, announced Tuesday by the conference office in Irving, Texas.

The group is highlighted by senior Patrick Graham and junior All-American Kendic Maple, who are the lone wrestlers in the conference with 4.00 GPAs. Graham and Maple are joined by senior Dillon Dennis on the All-Academic first team, while junior Nolan McBryde earned second team honors.

A total of 10 Big 12 student-athletes earned first team recognition, while eight individuals made up the second team.

First team members consist of those who have maintained a 3.20 or better GPA while the second team selections hold a 3.00 to 3.19 GPA.

Oklahoma's three first team selections are second in the Big 12 behind West Virginia with four representatives on the first team to lead the conference. Additionally, Maples is one of three wrestlers on the list to become a two-time Academic All-Big 12 honoree, as the junior also earned second team recognition last season.

Maple, a health and exercise Science major, enters the postseason as the nation's leading 141 pounder. The junior from Wichita, Kan., owns a 24-0, undefeated record on the season heading into the Big 12 Championships this weekend.

Graham, who will graduate this May with a degree in Latin American studies, is ranked fifth in the nation among 165-pounders. Graham is in his second year at OU after he transferred from American when Sooner head coach Mark Cody made the move to Oklahoma for his inaugural 2011-12 season.

Dillon Dennis has posted a 6-3 overall record throughout his senior year. The 149-pounder from Clearwater, Fla., will earn his degree in criminology upon his graduation in May, and is one of three Dennis brothers wrestling for OU.

A management major at Oklahoma, McBryde, has posted a 3-8 record at 174 pounds throughout the 2012-13 season. The Eagle River, Alaska, native has participated in six duals, including matches against Big 12 opponents Oklahoma State and West Virginia.

To qualify student-athletes must maintain a 3.00 GPA or higher either cumulative or the two previous semesters and must have participated in 60 percent of their team's scheduled contests. Freshmen and transfers are not eligible in their first year of academic residence. Senior student-athletes who have participated for a minimum of two years and meet all the criteria except percent of participation are also eligible.

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