Austin, Texas. (June 12) – Six MIT student-athletes – three men and three women – have been named to the Google Cloud Academic All-America At-Large teams this spring as the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) released its selections earlier this afternoon. With six honorees this year from the At-Large category, MIT led all of Division III and was one of seven institutions from across the country to have at least three student-athletes selected for the award.
Men's swimming and diving sophomores Bouke Edskes (Rockville, Md.) and Samuel Solomon (Rockville, Md.) as well as women's swimming and diving senior Jessica Chen (Rockville, Md.) were all named to the First Team, while men's tennis junior Tyler Barr (Chagrin Falls, Ohio), women's tennis senior Elysa Kohrs (Half Moon Bay, Calif.) and women's fencing junior Helen Sakharova (Ridgewood, N.J.) were all placed on the Second Team. Of this group of six student-athletes, Sakharova is the only repeat honoree as she earned a spot on the Second Team a year ago. Additionally, Sakharova was the only fencing student-athlete from Division I, II and III to appear on the national ballot for consideration for Academic All-America honors.
Edskes and Solomon are the ninth and tenth student-athletes from the men's swimming and diving program to be named Academic All-Americans, while Chen is the eighth women's swimming and diving student-athlete in program history to earn the honor. Barr and Kohrs are the sixth student-athletes from their respective tennis programs to earn Academic All-America accolades as Barr is the first selection since 2007 (Tom Dolhman) for the men's team and Kohrs is the first selection for the women's team since 2012 (Anastasia Vishnevetsky). Meanwhile, Sakharova joined Caroline Purcell '02 as the only two-time Academic All-Americans from the women's fencing program.
With six At-Large Academic All-America award recipients, the Engineers have produced 17 Academic All-Americans this year (four soccer, two football, one volleyball, one basketball and three baseball/softball) and since the start of the CoSIDA program in 1952, MIT has totaled 288 all-time, which ranks first among all Division III schools and second across all three divisions just behind the University of Nebraska which has earned 330 honors.
Edskes, a two-time NCAA National Runner-Up as a mechanical engineering major with a 3.84 GPA, is a 10-time All-American, a 13-time NEWMAC Champion and has been named twice as the NEWMAC Men's Swimmer of the Year and once as the NEWMAC Men's Swimming and Diving Rookie of the Year. In just two years with the Engineers, he has set eight NEWMAC records and five program records en route to guiding MIT to its ninth straight top-10 NCAA finish and to its 13th NEWMAC conference title. Out of the pool, the sophomore is a student researcher in the MIT Aerospace Controls Lab and is a competitor for MIT RACECAR.
Solomon, a chemical and biological engineering major with a perfect 4.00 GPA, is a four-time NCAA Diving All-American, a four-time NEWMAC Diving Champion and two-time NEWMAC Men's Diver of the Year. This season, Solomon swept both boards at the NEWMAC Championship and at the NCAA Division III National Championship placed 10th on the 3-meter board and 12th on the 1-meter board and over the past two seasons has broken the MIT program records on both boards with scores of 534.00 (1-meter) and 563.40 (3-meter). Out of the pool, Solomon is an undergraduate researcher with the New Engineering Education Transformation (NEET): Living Machine Thread and has done research in the Plasma Science and Fusion Center as well as the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. In addition to his research, Solomon is the Secretary of MIT's Marine Robotics Team and has done community service fundraising for AEPi's Gift of Life philanthropy project, as well as at the Boston Medical Center with the Parent Leadership in Autism Network (PLAN) program.
Chen, a mechanical engineering major with a 3.76 GPA and a captain of the women's swimming and diving team, is a 16-time NCAA All-American and a 16-time NEWMAC Champion as well as a 20-time NEWMAC All-Conference selection. A two-time NEWMAC Academic All-Conference honoree and two-time CSCAA Scholar All-American, Chen holds eight NEWMAC records and six program records. At the NCAA Division III National Championship this winter, Chen finished fifth in the 100-breast, seventh in the 200-medley relay and the 200-free relay, eighth in the 400-medley relay, ninth in the 200-breast and 12th in the 400-free relay. Out of the pool, Chen is the Co-Director and Treasurer for Camp Kesem and is the Internal Mentorship Chair for the Society of Women Engineers. With a concentration in biomedical engineering, Chen has also served as an intern in the Boehm Lab at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.
A three-year member and captain of the men's tennis team, Barr was named as the 2018 NEWMAC Player of the Year after leading the Engineers to their 20th straight conference title this spring. Barr, who sports a 3.76 GPA and who is completing his undergraduate degree in mathematics with computer science, led the Engineers to the NCAA Tournament once again as their No. 1 singles player. The junior, who earned All-America honors in the 2017 Singles Championship Tournament a year ago, posted a record of 12-7 in singles play including a 10-4 record at No. 1 and a mark of 17-7 in doubles action this season. Barr has accepted a summer internship at Susquehanna International Group and has previously served as a Cardiology Researcher at the Cleveland Clinic and as an Undergraduate Researcher at Sloan School of Management testing computation times of different optimization software such as Gurobi and CBC by writing different formulations of solving for the minimum number of gates Logan Airport needs in order to avoid planes needing to wait on the runway.
Kohrs, who was recently named as a 2018 NCAA Singles and Doubles All-American and was selected as the speaker at the National Championship banquet in Claremont, California a couple of weeks ago, made it all the way to the National Quarterfinals in the singles bracket and aided the Engineers to their first appearance in the Elite Eight since the 2014-15 season. The senior was named as the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Player of the Year for the third time in her career and boats a 3.84 GPA as a computer science major. This spring, Kohrs was a First Team All-Conference honoree and guided MIT to its third consecutive NEWMAC Championship. At No. 1 singles, she went 16-2 this season to go along with a 19-4 record at No. 1 doubles. In addition, Kohrs capped her career ranked No. 7 in the ITA National Singles rankings and as the No. 5 singles player in New England, as well as the No. 8 doubles team in New England and the No. 14 doubles team in the country alongside freshman Libby Rickeman (Wayzata, Minn.).
Now a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-American, Sakharova has a 3.92 GPA while majoring in computer science and molecular biology. She is a two-time NCAA qualifier and was the only Division III epee fencer both years. Sakharova was the 2017 NCAA Elite 90 Award recipient and finished 21st at this year's national championship. The Northeast Fencing Conference (NFC) Women's Fencer of the Year, she compiled a record of 38-1 in conference action while going 66-12 for the season. In addition, Sakharova captured the epee title at the New England Championship. She spent last summer as a web design instructor for Middle Eastern Entrepreneurs of Tomorrow where she taught, planned daily lectures and hands-on labs for Israeli and Palestinian high schoolers. Sakharova was a research intern at the Biomedical Neuroscience Institute in Santiago, Chile and has conducted research in the MIT Weiss Lab for Synthetic Biology as well as the MIT Picower Institute of Learning and Memory.
CoSIDA, which began its recognition of NCAA scholar-athletes in the 1950's, has honored more than 15,000 deserving athletes across all divisions in 12 sports. To be eligible for the at-large program, a student-athlete maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.30 on a scale of 4.00, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standings at his/her current institution and be nominated by his/her sports information director.
Sports eligible for the at-large program are Women's Beach Volleyball, Women's Bowling, Men's and Women's Fencing, Women's Field Hockey, Men's and Women's Golf, Men's and Women's Gymnastics, Men's and Women's Ice Hockey, Men's and Women's Lacrosse, Men's and Women's Rifle, Women's Rowing, Men's and Women's Skiing, Men's and Women's Swimming, Men's and Women's Tennis, Men's Volleyball, Men's and Women's Water Polo, Men's Wrestling.
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