July 13, 2005
Columbia, S.C. – For the second consecutive year, no school in the country placed more of its women’s golfers on the National Golf Coaches Association All-America Scholar-Athlete team than South Carolina, as six Gamecocks earned spots on the team, the organization announced today. Junior Erica Battle, senior Tiffany Catafygiotu, sophomore Jenna Pearson and freshmen Caroline Rominger, Whitney Simons and Blythe Worley were all recognized for their performance in the classroom.
The women’s golf team finished the 2004 fall semester with a 3.671 overall GPA, which marked the highest team GPA since the athletic department began charting the figure on team-by-team basis in 1996, then turned in a combined 3.832 GPA in the spring semester to shatter the record it had just set.
“The dedication and sacrifices made to golf and academics by this extraordinary group of young ladies is unsurpassed in my 20 years of coaching,” head coach Kristi Coggins said. “Pride in success is part of their everyday life and they are truly a phenomenal group to coach.”
The criteria for selection to the All-American Scholar Team are some of the most stringent of all college athletics. The minimum cumulative GPA is 3.50 and student-athletes must have competed in at least 66% of the college’s regularly scheduled competitive rounds during the year.
After appearing on the Dean’s List in the fall semester, Battle earned a spot on the President’s List (perfect 4.0 grade-point average) in the spring en route to being recognized as a member of the SEC Spring Sports Academic Honor Roll. With this year’s recognition, Battle is now a two-time NGCA All-America Scholar-Athlete, as she also earned a spot on the 2004 team. She would have been eligible as a freshman in 2003, but the NGCA did not recognize freshmen as candidates for the All-America Scholar-Athlete team until 2004. On the course, the Columbia native (Irmo HS) finished the 2005 season with the lowest stroke average of any player on the roster.
The honor puts a final exclamation mark on the career of Catafygiotu, who won an SEC Championship as a freshman in 2002 and was a three-time selection to the NGCA All-America Scholar-Athlete team. Originally from Greer, S.C., Catafygiotu appeared on USC’s Dean’s List in both the fall and spring semesters and was recognized by the SEC as a member of the Spring Sports Academic Honor Roll.
Another two-time NGCA All-America Scholar-Athlete, Pearson earned a spot on the SEC Spring Sports Academic Honor Roll and was a member of South Carolina’s Dean’s List in both the fall and spring semesters. On the course, she qualified for the 2005 NCAA Championships as an individual and fired one of the lowest rounds in school history when she carded a 69 at the NCAA Fall Preview.
Rominger was solid on the course all year for the Gamecocks, and backed that up in the classroom by earning a spot on the Dean’s List in both the fall and spring semester.
Simons enjoyed a remarkable freshman year both on the course and in the classroom. She knocked in a hole-in-one at the NCAA East Regional and was Carolina’s low scorer at the SEC Championships, finishing 12th on the individual leader board at the event. In the classroom, Simons was the only Gamecock to earn a spot on the President’s List in both the fall and spring semester.
Worley rounds out the list of Gamecocks on the NGCA All-America Scholar-Athlete team. She appeared on the President’s List in the fall semester and was on the Dean’s List in the spring semester. Worley is expected to be a key contributor for Carolina on the course as her career progresses.