University of Denver reaps All-American windfall

DU fans are most familiar with the number 33. That’s the new number of national team championships owned by the University of Denver. As of the beginning of this school year, Denver had 428 All- Americans. But expect that number to grow considerably.

DU fans have become so accustomed to these awards that many fail to fully appreciate just how rare and special they are for both the athlete and the institution. And, each sport in collegiate athletics applies a different formula to award this special designation.

Expect Denver to add at least another 25 new All-American titles this school year to the current list.

In NCAA women’s gymnastics, All-American status is awarded for the regular season and at the NCAA championships. Last week, sophomore superstar Maddie Karr won four designations and junior Kaitlyn Schou received one All-American award. Both athletes were ranked in the top 10 of their respective disciplines for the regular season. The Denver team can win further All-American awards by advancing to the NCAA Championships in St. Louis.

Karr, Schou Named Regular Season All-Americans

We all know that Henrik Borgström is a current finalist for the Hobey Baker Award. Separate from that, All-Americans in hockey will be announced in St. Paul, Minnesota later this week. The American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA) selects All-Americans for Division I players from both the East and the West. Denver has three solid possibilities this season with standouts Borgström, Troy Terry, and Tanner Jaillet.

As for lacrosse, the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) annually selects men’s and women’s lacrosse All-Americans, distinguished by first team, second team, third team, and honorable mention. The winners are announced during Championship Weekend. Last year, Trevor Baptiste was named to the first team. He is a cinch to repeat. Graduated seniors Connor Cannizzaro and Christian Burgdorf were second-team All-Americans.  Colton Jackson and Ethan Walker were honorable mentions last year but have a good chance to achieve All-American status this season to join Baptiste.

In skiing, the top 10 NCAA finishers earn All-American recognition. This season, Denver landed 17 All-Americans en route to their 24th national title. Amelia Smart won the individual championship in giant slalom on top her All-American status. Freshman Jett Seymour and junior Tuva Norbye earned All-American designations from their sixth and eighth place finishes respectively. In the Nordic Classical event, DU added three first-team All-America honors to include Jasmi Joensuu, Dag-Frode Trolleboe, and Eivind Kvaale. In slalom, Amelia Smart won the individual Championship and All-American honors while Tobias Kogle, Andrea Komsic, Alex Leever and Jett Seymour joined her as All-Americans. On the final day of competition, all six freestyle Pioneer skiers earned All-America status, as Denver cemented their 24 national ski title. DU’s All-American freestyle skiers included Eivind Kvaale, Linn Eriksen, Dag Frode Trolleboe, Lars Hannah, Jasmi Joensuu and Teeler McCrerey.

In NCAA swimming and diving, athletes and relay teams who make the championship final (top eight) are considered First-Team All-Americans. Athletes and relay teams that qualify for the consolation final (determines places 9–16) are considered Honorable Mention All-Americans. All-American teams are selected by the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA). Two weeks ago, the University of Denver men’s 200 freestyle relay finished 15th in the prelims with a school record to earn All-America honors at the 2018 NCAA Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships in Indianapolis. Senior Anton Loncar finished sixth in the 200 backstroke NCAA Championship preliminaries earn his fifth career All-American honor. Junior swimmer Bailey Andison earned two All-American honors in the 400 and 200 individual medley.

In soccer, the National Soccer Coaches Association of America annually name an eleven-member All-American team. This past season, DU soccer did not have any All-Americans. However, Graham Smith was named a United Soccer Coaches’ Scholar All-American Second Team selection. Reagan Dunk was DU’s most recent National Soccer Coaches’ Association of America First-Team All-American selection in 2016. DU women’s last All-Americans came from the talented tandem of Nicholette DiGiacomo and Kristen Hamilton in 2013-2014.

The Intercollegiate Tennis Association annually selects men’s and women’s D-I players with the following criteria. Top 16 seed in NCAA Singles Championships, or 2.) Reach round of 16 in NCAA Singles Championships, or 3.) Finish in the Top 20 of the final ITA Rankings. For Doubles: 1.) Top eight seed in NCAA Doubles Championships, or 2.) Reach quarterfinals of NCAA Doubles Championship, or 3.) Finish in Top 10 of final ITA Rankings. The DU doubles partners of Maureen Slattery and Julia O’Loughlin made a historic run at the 2017 NCAA Women’s Tennis Doubles Championship Tournament. Their run through the semifinals came to an end against a team from Alabama in straight sets (6-4, 6-2). Slattery and O’Lauglin earned All-American status.

The American Volleyball Coaches Association selects the women’s All-America teams. Despite four consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament and numerous conference honors, Denver women’s volleyball has yet to earn a Division I member on the All-American volleyball list. ColleenKingg and Brea Muhle were the last DU All-Americans in 2013-2014.

All in all, these are amazing results for another incredible year for DU athletics.

And mark our words, they’re not done yet.

7 thoughts on “University of Denver reaps All-American windfall”

    1. Great question. No luck finding a comprehensive list of total a
      All-Americans by-school. But, I will keep looking. As you may recall Denver moved to D2 & NAIA for a period of time so I would expect that there are a number of schools with significantly more All-Americans than Denver. Also, College football, which started the ‘All American’ designation, selects a number of players each year. BTW, Oklahoma has the most football All-Americans at 35. I would guess a number of football schools top the list.

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  1. 5b, from 1 above.
    Our Directors cup wins (almost every year) are for the non football school category. Maybe there is the same split for this total number category.
    Gotta keep you busy!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good article,

    The other factor to consider is that in some sports, there are multiple organizations naming all-Americans, including coaches organizations, sports governing bodies, and media organizations, so a “consensus” all-Americans may represent these multiple selections.

    All in all, we are witnessing a ‘Golden Age’ of Pioneer sports. Enjoy it while it lasts, because I believe that financial and facility realities are keeping DU from getting much better, and other programs with more resources are going to continue to rise.

    Peg is getting out just in time. DU is not upping its investment in sports, and the current senior DU administration is ambivalent-to-hostile to DU athletics and to the needs of the DU fanbase, as evidenced by the mascot/nickname shenanigans and creeping political correctness…

    We are already seeing the Big 10 pulling ahead of the NCHC in hockey, with three teams in the Frozen Four this year. DU Lacrosse may be starting to decline as other programs invest and improve as the sport gets better and better athletes. DU basketball may never pull out of the mediocrity imposed by its budget and poor recruiting location.Yes, DU can still be a skiing powerhouse as long as only 23 schools can field skiing teams.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t think things are that bleak but change is needed over time to stay competitive.

    In hockey, I disagree with NCHC die hards that say ‘stand Pat’. When they are ready (i.e. arena), add ASU and UNLV – and consult with them to get there.

    Put together a strategy to get into the WCC to strengthen basketball, volleyball and soccer.

    Before Tierney retires, fund and expand Peter Barton with 1200 seats on the north side of the stadium to stay a step ahead for lax. Stay in the Big East. ($10M+ so big donor(s) needed).

    The new tennis center is a game changer for tennis and Highlands Ranch Golf Club is a huge recruiting advantage for DU. However, weather will always be a limiting factor.

    Gymnastics is fine in the Big 12 but will need Joy Burns to provide needed support to retain coaches, support recruiting and provide for capital needs.

    The ski team is good in RIIMSA but needs a mountain training/lodging facility like CU has. Daily van rides do not provide optimum training for the team.

    DU will need to find new revenue sources to fuel these changes but it can be done.Creech needs to embrace change to keep the ball rolling. And new donors need to be found as some of DU’s main benefactors get into their 80’s & 90’s.

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    1. Couldn’t agree more, 5Bwest.

      I painted that somewhat bleak picture as a provocative motivator for the school to start thinking more radically about the future. DU needs to keep moving, and they need the funding to do it. This is an arms race, and if you sit where you are, you fall behind.

      The school needs to realize that investing in sports is a good investment. Athletics is the highest performing division in the school – few academic programs at DU are top 20 (or even top 50).

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Just one example, the University of Texas has had 2,491 individuals who have earned 4,252 All-America honors. So I’m guessing similar sized schools (UCLA, Michigan, Florida & Penn State) would be in that ballpark.

    Schools like Stanford & Harvard have over 40 D-1 sports programs so they likely have even more.

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