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Redhawks rank second nationally in team GPA
Southeast gymnasts had finished first the previous three years
The three-year reign as academic national champions for the Southeast Missouri State women's gymnastics team is over.
But not because the Redhawks faltered in the classroom.
Southeast compiled its second-highest grade point average in program history, 3.8905, for the 2009-10 school year.
That was not enough to give the Redhawks their fourth straight academic national title, but they did finish second.
Southern Utah barely edged out the Redhawks with a GPA of 3.8923 to be crowned academic champions by the National Association of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches/Women.
"I am extremely proud of the hard work that the team put into maintaining their academic reputation," Southeast coach Kristi Ewasko said in a release. "To rank in the top three in the nation academically is a feat in itself.
"We continue to strive to put the student before the athlete because an education is what they will leave Southeast Missouri State with once their gymnastic careers are completed."
Only last season's Southeast squad, which compiled a program-record 3.91 GPA, was better academically than this year's unit.
The 2009-10 Redhawks boast a program-record 18 gymnasts who earned Scholastic All-American status as a result of 3.5 or better GPAs. Thirteen recorded perfect 4.0 GPAs.
"I continue to be amazed by the academic and athletic success of our gymnastics team," Southeast director of athletics John Shafer said in the release. "They are truly gifted women and I want to congratulate them, the coaching staff and our academic support team. This is a very special group of people that worked together to achieve this accomplishment."
Wisconsin-Lacrosse (3.6600), Western Michigan (3.6323) and Michigan State (3.6194) rounded out the top five among the nation's top academic teams.