Rachael Acker, Ryan Murphy and Rachel Bootsma, all accomplished swimmers in the pool, earned recognition for their work in the classroom as members of the 2016 CoSIDA at-large Academic All-America team. Archive photo via Mike Lewis/Ola Vista Photography
BERKELEY – Rachael Acker, Ryan Murphy and Rachel Bootsma, all accomplished swimmers in the pool, earned recognition for their work in the classroom as members of the 2016 CoSIDA at-large Academic All-America team. Acker and Murphy were voted onto the first team, with Bootsma on the second team.
Acker, a French major on a pre-med track, becomes Cal’s first three-time selection, having been a member of the Academic All-America third team in 2014 and the second team in 2015. Murphy, also a repeat choice, was on the second team last year.
Acker’s award joins a long list of honors for the just-graduated senior. A finalist for the University Medal given to the top graduate at UC Berkeley, she will study in France next year after receiving a Fulbright Scholarship. In addition, Acker was named the 2016 Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year for women’s swimming & diving, earned the Neufeld Scholar-Athlete Award for having the highest GPA (3.96) among Cal’s graduating female student-athletes and received the athletic department’s Anna Espenschade Award for best exemplifying Golden Bear spirit. She also was presented an Oscar Geballe Postgraduate Scholarship and plans to attend medical school after her term in France.
Murphy, a junior majoring in business administration, adds to an already impressive haul of achievements in 2016. He was named CSCAA co-Swimmer of the Year as well as Pac-12 Swimmer of the Year after breaking the American, U.S. Open and NCAA record in both the 100- and 200-yard backstroke at the NCAA Championships. His success in collegiate swimming ran a parallel path to his preparation for the 2016 Olympic Trials as he also spent time throughout the winter and spring swimming long-course meets against international competition. His accolades weren’t limited to the pool, and in the classroom he compiled a 3.54 GPA to earn second team All-Pac-12 academic honors.
Bootsma completed her senior season in 2016 by capturing the 100 back title at the NCAA Championships for the third time in her career. Also a three-time Pac-12 champion in the event, she received the Tom Hansen Conference Medal earlier this spring as the top female senior student-athlete at Cal. Bootsma, who owns a 3.41 GPA as an interdisciplinary studies major, earned a gold medal as part of the 400-meter medley relay at the 2012 London Olympics. A multi-time Scholar All-American, she was a three-time member of the Pac-12 All-Academic squad.
The at-large teams for the Academic All-America program, which is managed by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), include student-athletes from the sports of fencing, golf, gymnastics, ice hockey, lacrosse, rifle, skiing, swimming & diving, tennis and water polo for both men and women, as well as bowling, crew and field hockey for women, and volleyball and wrestling for men.
Since 2010, Golden Bears have been honored with Academic All-America recognition 12 times, including swimmers Missy Franklin, the 2015 Academic All-American of the Year, and Nathan Adrian, a two-time first-team selection.
Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …