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Lancers wrestling team takes top academic award

CLEVELAND, Ohio (March 13, 2014) – Before California Baptist University could begin its first NCAA Division II Championship appearance, it was honored for its accomplishments off the mat.

The Lancers were named the first place NCAA Division II All-Academic Wrestling team for the 2013-14 season by the National Wrestling Coaches Association at the Division II tournament coaches meeting Thursday afternoon. CBU took home the national honor after it compiled a 3.375 team grade-point average this year.

“I am very proud of our wrestlers for posting a team accumulative GPA of 3.375,” Head Coach Lennie Zalesky said. “I am equally proud of their success in the classroom, as I am their success on the mat.”

Alex Anunciation, Brady Bersano and Bryden Lazaro all reached first team NWCA Academic All-American status for CBU. Caleb Gerl, Zachary McKenna and Alec Smith were recognized on the second team for the Lancers, who had Paul Miller and Dakota Thayer named honorable mentions.

In addition to a banner academic season, CBU has enjoyed a historic athletic year. It recorded a program-best 11 wins and took second in its first year in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference and NCAA Division II Super West Region. The Lancers finished the season at No. 11 in the Division II rankings with an 11-4-1, 3-1 in RMAC record and posted two victories against Division I opponents – Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Grand Canyon University.

The Lancers wrap up their all-around memorable season at the NCAA Division II Championships, which is hosted by Ashland University and the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission at Cleveland’s Public Auditorium Friday and Saturday. Anunciation, Bersano and Lazaro will all be competing, as CBU sent five of its wrestlers to the tournament after they qualified in the top-three in their weight classes at the conference and regional event on March 1.