MANHEIM, Pa. — Southern Virginia University's wrestlers Alex Brunner and Morgan Peterson were named to the 2019-20 NCAA Division III Scholar All-American Team by the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) while also finishing 24th in the country earning the prestigious recognition of Top-25 Scholar All-American Teams.
Brunner and Peterson made program history as the first duo to receive the 2020 NCAA Division III Scholar All-American honors while Brunner made program history in becoming the first player to receive Scholar Academic All-American honors twice.
On the mat, Brunner wrestled in the 285-pound weight class where he recorded a 17-7 overall record this year while collecting the most wins in program history with 70. The Fairfax, Va., native's career is highlighted by placing in 10 tournaments as a Knight including an 8th place finish in the South East Regional in 2019. Last season, he was named to the 2019 NCAA Division III Scholar All-American Team by the National Wrestling Coaches Association.
Peterson wrestled in the 165-pound weight class and tallied a 15-15 overall record this season. With his award, the Solon, Ohio native sophomore becomes the youngest member to receive the prestigious award in program history while locking in a top-eight finish at the NCAA DIII Regional Southeast Tournament.
"I can't say enough about Alex and Morgan winning this award," said head coach Logan Davis. "It says so much about their high level in the classroom and the wrestling room. An Academic All-American award requires a balanced approach every day of the semester. You can't just show up for the finals."
To receive Academic All-American Honors, individual wrestlers must receive a minimum 3.2 GPA and meet one of three requirements. The wrestler must be an NCAA qualifier with a winning record, Regional placewinner (top 8) with a winning record and appeared in at least half of a team's scheduled events, win at least ⅔ of their matches and appear in over half of team's scheduled events.
Southern Virginia University's men's wrestling team qualified to be placed in the top 25 academic teams after collecting a overall 3.45 team GPA and a 24th place finish in the 2020 NWCA Division III Top 25 Scholar All-American Teams. To qualify, "the team GPA is calculated by averaging the GPA of ten wrestlers. At least six must have competed in regional and the others must have competed in at least 50% of the team's scheduled events". With the 24th place finish, the Knights make program history with first nomination in program history.
"This team award says a lot about the progress we have made culturally as a program," said Davis. "We are working hard on and off the mat to be the best we can be. This was a complete team effort."