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Jun 17, 2016 08:48 AM EDT

Southern Illinois University's Swimming Program Recognized As One Of The Country's Top Academic Programs

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The College Swimming Coaches Association of America announced on Wednesday its recognition for Southern Illinois University's swimming program as one of the top academic programs in the country.

The SIU swimming, and diving program has been hailed for its academic performance, as the men's program, along with the women's program registered high GPA marks, which ranks among the best in the nation.

The men's program had finished with a 3.46 GPA, which makes it tied for fourth-best in the nation with Brown University, The Southern Illinoisan reported.

The women's swimming and diving team had ranked 11th-highest nationwide with a 3.60 GPA, tied with Boise State University. Both teams claims top spot in the Missouri Valley Conference.

Since 2012, SUI's men's swimming and diving team have failed to rank below fifth place nationally, with five of their eight semesters. Meanwhile, the women's swimming and diving program have garnered five top-15 finishes since 2012, as well.

Rick Walker, head coach at the Souther Illinois University, have stated in an interview with , that the swimming program's recruiting process looks for quality athletes, whom have developed the necessary skill in the pool, but with the proper academic discipline, as well, SIU Salukis reported.

Walker stated that the athletes are at the campus to go to school for their academics, which is prioritized. The coaches "hold them to that standard." In a direct result, SIU's men's and women's swimming programs have proven once again their capabilities of mixing athleticism and academic performance.

The head coach did not fail to recognize the work of his colleagues, as Walker cites the continued support from the administration, as well as the academic staff had made the feat possible. Walker also commends the efforts of his team for their achievement, and adds that their academic success is how it should be.

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