Mazzante takes home top academic honor

Updated: March 5, 2004, 12:27 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Fifteen women, including four Big 12 players, have been named to the 2004 College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-America teams.

Kansas State was the only school with two representatives, as junior guard Laurie Koehn was selected to the first team and senior center Nicole Ohlde was voted onto the second team. Koehn boasts a 3.966 cumulative grade-point average in elementary education.

Texas' Jamie Carey and Oklahoma senior Caton Hill, who were both third-team picks, also represented the Big 12.

Penn State senior guard Kelly Mazzante (advertising major, 3.49 GPA) also was named the 2004 Academic All-America of the Year for the University Division. A two-time Academic All-America and the 2004 Big Ten Player of the Year, Mazzante finished the regular season as the Big Ten all-time leading scorer with 2,795 career points, while averaging 20.6 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.9 steals.

Mandy Koupal, a senior from South Dakota, was named Women's Basketball Academic All-America of the Year for the College Division. Koupal carries a 3.82 GPA in elementary education and is averaging 24.4 points and 11.6 rebounds for the No. 15 South Dakota Coyotes (25-6).

In the College Division, five of the 15 student-athletes selected have a perfect 4.00 grade point average, while the overall national team GPA average is 3.95.

The CoSIDA Academic All-America Teams program honors male and female student-athletes who have succeeded at the highest level on the playing field and in the classroom. Individuals are selected through voting by CoSIDA, a 2,000-member organization consisting of sports public relations professionals for colleges and universities in the United States and Canada.

To be eligible, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.20 on a scale of 4.00, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standing at his/her current institution and be nominated by his/her sports information director.

Since the program's inception in 1952, CoSIDA has bestowed Academic All-America honors on more than 14,000 student-athletes in Division I, II, III and NAIA covering all NCAA championship sports.

A look at the honorees:

Women's Basketball Team (University Division)
First Team
Kate Endress, Ball State, Jr., 3.93, Entrepreneurship
Laurie Koehn, Kansas State, Jr., 3.96, Elementary Education
Kelly Mazzante, Penn State, Sr., 3.49, Advertising
Hana Peljto, Harvard, Sr., 3.58, Psychology
Stefanie Wenzel, Bowling Green, Sr., 3.97, Integrated Language Arts

Second Team
Coutrney Davidson, Navy, Sr., 3.71, Political Science
Colleen Day, Miami (Ohio), Sr., 3.84, Secondary Education
Kathleen Nygaard, Eastern Washington, Sr., 3.70, Marketing
Nicole Ohlde, Kansas State, Sr., 3.63, Elementary Education
Beth Swink, St. Francis, Pa., Jr., 3.72, Biology

Third Team
Yoneko Allen, Western Carolina, Sr., 3.98, Business Administraion
Jamie Carey, Texas, Jr., 3.56, Sociology/Social Work
Caton Hill, Oklahoma, Sr., 3.63, Zoology/Pre-Med
Lindsay Shearer, Kent State, So., 4.00, Integrated Mathematics
Lindsay Thomas, Colorado State, So., 4.00, English & Spanish

Information from The Associated Press was included in this report.