Gunn grad Acker earns top Pac-12 honors in women's swimming


Gunn High grad Rachael Acker, a senior on California's women's swimming and diving team earned that sports Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year, the conference office announced Tuesday.

The award, first presented for the school year 2007-08, was established by the Pac-12 to honor collegiate student-athletes that are exemplary both academically and in their sports discipline.

Rachael Acker/Cal Athletics
Stanford senior Sarah Haase was also nominated for the honor.

Acker led off the 2014 NCAA champion 800 free relay and earned a silver medal with USA's 400-meter relay team at the 2013 World University Games. She has continued her accomplished collegiate career during her senior season, earning NCAA 'B' cuts in both the 100 and 200 freestyle events.

During her career, she swam in 10 events at the NCAA championships, helping to win one national title and scoring in two others.

Acker maintains a 3.957 cumulative GPA as a French major, while also taking courses that have her on a pre-med track. She has worked in California's Heald Lab in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology doing research, and twice has been named a CoSIDA All-American. She also has twice been named a Pac-12 All-Academic First Team selection.

Eligibility for the Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year award, given to seniors, requires student-athletes to be on track to receive a degree, have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher, participate in at least 50 percent of the scheduled contests in the sport and have a minimum of one year in residence at the institution.

Each Pac-12 institution may nominate one individual per sport, and the winners are selected by a committee of Pac-12 staff members at the conclusion of each sport's regular season. The athletic accomplishments of the nominees are a consideration in the voting for the award.

A Scholar-Athlete of the Year will be named in each of the Pac-12's 23 sponsored sports: baseball, men's basketball, women's basketball, beach volleyball, men's cross country, women's cross country, football, men's golf, women's golf, women's gymnastics, men's rowing, women's rowing, men's soccer, women's soccer, softball, men's swimming & diving, women's swimming & diving, men's tennis, women's tennis, men's track & field, women's track & field, women's volleyball, and wrestling.

— California Athletics

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