AUSTIN, Texas (June 19, 2019) – Sophomore men's tennis players Varun Shanker (Midland, Mich. / Midland Dow) and James Wei (Chappaqua, N.Y. / Horace Greeley) have been named to the 2018-19 Google Cloud Academic All-America® Division III Second Team, as selected by the sports information directors of CoSIDA.
The second-year doubles partners, in their first year of CoSIDA eligibility, join former cross country record holder Aditya Bhagavathi (BS '16), two-time academic all-american and former dual-sport athlete Alex Bourzutschky (BS '18), water polo's all-time leading scorer Chris Bradley (BS '17) and former track & field standout Jeremy Leibs (BS '06) as the Beavers' only Academic All-America honorees. The sophomores are also the first pair of Caltech scholar athletes to earn the distinction in a single season.
Shanker and Wei took care of business on and off the court this past season, beginning with a victory in the ITA Regional Doubles Championship in September and a fourth-place finish at the ITA Cup in October before Shanker rose to national singles prominence in the spring, finishing 10th in the ITA's end-of-year Division III singles rankings. Both players recently earned ITA All-America recognition for the second time in as many years.
CoSIDA recognizes student-athletes from each of the four NCAA divisions for their combined athletic and academic performance. The honor is one of the most prestigious in collegiate athletics. Nominees must have at least a 3.3 grade-point average on a 4.0 scale, have reached sophomore status athletically and have been at the nominating institution at least one calendar year.