Eight Utah Valley University wrestlers were named to the 2016 Academic All-Big 12 Wrestling Team that was announced Thursday by the Big 12 Conference office.
Redshirt sophomore Jarod Maynes topped the group by being one of two Big 12 grapplers to be nominated with a perfect 4.00 grade-point average. Maynes, who is majoring in accounting, was one of five Wolverines to be named to the first team, while three others were named to the second team.
Maynes, Brayden Humpherys, Matthew Ontiveros, Ross Taylor and Derek Thomas were all tabbed to the first team for UVU, while Dustin Dennison, Raider Lofthouse and Chasen Tolbert were named second team members. First team honorees consist of those who have maintained a 3.20 or better GPA, while the second team selections hold a 3.00 to 3.19 GPA.
To qualify, student-athletes must maintain a 3.00 GPA or higher either cumulative or the two previous semesters and must have participated in 60 percent of their team's scheduled contests. Freshmen and transfers are not eligible in their first year of academic residence. Senior student-athletes who have participated for a minimum of two years and meet all the criteria except percent of participation are also eligible.
A total of 57 student-athletes were recognized on the 2016 edition of the Academic All-Big 12 Wrestling Team, with 38 being named to the first team and 19 to the second team.
Wyoming led the way with nine of its grapplers making the cut, while UVU and South Dakota State had the second most with eight apiece.
Utah Valley heads to Kansas City, Missouri, this weekend to take part at the program's first-ever Big 12 Championship. The two-day qualifying tournament will be held Saturday, March 5, to Sunday, March 6, at the Sprint Center.
James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.