Cambridge, Mass. (March 11) - For the first time in their respective careers, juniors Neel Das (Needham, Mass.) and Wonjune Kang (Seoul, South Korea) have been named as College Squash Association (CSA) Scholar-Athletes. Das and Kang are now the 14th and 15th student-athletes to earn Scholar-Athlete accolades in program history.
In order to be eligible for the award, squash student-athletes must be a two-time varsity letter winner at the school he is currently attending, have two appearances at the CSA Team National Championships, have a cumulative grade point average of 3.50 (4.0 scale) or higher, be a junior or senior, be enrolled at his/her current school for one-year prior to the present term and play a top-10 ladder position for the majority of scheduled CSA sanctioned matches during the season.
Das posted a record of 12-6 which included marks of 1-0 at position five, 5-6 at position eight and 6-0 at position nine, while Kang went 11-4 overall which featured records of 1-0 at position six, 1-0 at position seven, 2-1 at position nine and 7-3 in exhibition matches.
Das and Kang guided the Engineers to their first-ever CSA Team National Championship after they defeated No. 21 Bates College, No. 17 Williams College and No. 19 Brown University in the Summers Cup bracket. On top of their national championship title, MIT put together 16 total wins, ten of which came against nationally-ranked programs. The championship titled for MIT secured a final national ranking for Engineers of No. 17 which is the highest for the program since 1999-2000 season when they finished as the 16th ranked team by the CSA. The win also secured a top-5 Division III ranking for the Engineers the highest it has been under head coach Thierry Lincou.
In addition to the team's success, Das and Kang helped the Engineers win two prestigious awards from the association. At the conclusion of the team championship, MIT was honored with the Sloane Award for Sportsmanship and at the conclusion of the individual championship, MIT was named as the association's Most Improved Team in 2018-19.
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