For the second year in a row, Villanova led all Division I schools in the nation with the highest percentage of teams earning NCAA Public Recognition Awards for academic achievement.

A total of 17 teams — 77 percent of Villanova’s teams — received multiyear Academic Progress Rate scores that ranked in the top 10 percent of their sports nationwide. APR measures student-athlete performance in the classroom by assigning points each semester for academic standing and retention.

Student-athletes also achieved a new Villanova Athletics record with their spring semester GPA of 3.346. Spring marked the 32nd straight semester in which the overall GPA was above 3.0, and the ninth consecutive semester with a 3.2 or higher.

Honoring Outstanding Seniors

Villanova Athletics recognized two Cross Country and Track and Field athletes as its Student Athletes of the Year. Nicole Hutchinson, who has been named an All-American six times, earned eight Big East titles and participated in seven winning relays at the Penn Relays, graduated with an Accounting degree and accepted a position as an audit associate with PWC Vancouver.

Casey Comber, who completed his Marketing and Business Analytics major in May and will return as a graduate student in the MS in Analytics program this fall, is a three-time All-American and nine-time Big East champion.

Leaps and Bounds

Villanova’s Track and Field athletes shone brightly again on the conference and national stages this past spring, bringing home individual and team titles.

The Women’s Track and Field team dominated the Big East championships, winning overall as a team, as well as in two relay races and eight events to complete its second straight “triple crown” — Big East championships in cross country, indoor and outdoor events over the course of the academic year.

The Men’s team claimed its own Big East trophy, winning five individual events and one relay. Several student-athletes also advanced to NCAA championships: Sanaä Barnes in the high jump (add link), Caroline Alcorta in the 10000 and 5000 meters, and Casey Comber in the 1500 meters.

Hitting It Out of the Park

At the plate, on the mound and in the field, a Villanova Softball player and a Villanova Baseball player had banner seasons this past spring.

Sophomore Paige Rauch, a pitcher and infielder, broke Villanova’s single season home run record and was unanimously voted the Big East Player of the Year, the first player in program history to earn the honor. She was also a unanimous selection to the All-Big East First Team.

Freshman Nick Lorusso, a pitcher and third baseman, was named the Big East Freshman of the Year, the first time in 25 years that a Villanova player has won a major postseason Big East award.