June 5, 2014
WEST POINT, N.Y. -
Army swimmer Kristen Barta added another honor to her list of awards this season with her selection to the Capital One Academic All-America Division I Women's At-Large Team as voted on by the members of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) on Thursday.
A third-team selection, Barta is the first Army women's swimmer to earn Academic All-America honors and second Black Knight swimmer. She joins former two-time men's at-large selection Steve Haley, who was named to the third team in 1997 and the first team the following year.
"Kristen understands what it means to work hard," noted Army head swimming and diving coach Mickey Wender. "Her work ethic is on-par with the best I've ever worked with (including Olympic and national level athletes).
"As an athlete, Kristen is fun to coach because she accepts responsibility for her performance and works in partnership with her coaches. One of my favorite memories was the time she committed to breaking a 20-year-old Academy record in the 200-yard breaststroke. Her best time was 2:28 and the record was 2:20. Kristen did everything in her power to make it happen, and she put all the pieces together at the right time to set the record at our championship meet.
"Her ability to set a goal, commit to the process, overcome adversity and make it happen at the right time is not unique to her swimming as these skills will serve her well in her career," added Wender.
A rising senior, Barta is among 45 women named to the at-large team and one of 15 swimmers selected. To be nominated for Academic All-America, student-athletes must be at least a sophomore, and be a starter or significant reserve to their team while holding a 3.3 cumulative grade point average or higher.
Barta is the fourth Black Knight this season tabbed for Academic All-America honors. She joins men's soccer goalkeeper Winston Boldt, who was named to the second team, along with football players Terry Baggett (first team) and Thomas Hollaway (second team).
A Life Science major with a 3.96 grade-point average, Barta has earned several academic honors to include being named to the Dean's List, the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll and Academic All-League team.
This past March, she was named to the 2014 Patriot League All-Academic Team for the second straight year. Last month she became the first member of Army's swimming and diving team tabbed for Academic All-District 1 honors since diver Chelsea Havilland was chosen in 2006.
The native of Oconomowoc, Wis., closed out the 2013-14 season at the Patriot League Championships where she placed 15th in the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:07.08. The multi-event performer also swam legs on the 400-yard medley relay and 800-yard free relay that set school records at the meet to include runner-up honors in the former.
Elected by her peers to share the team captaincy in 2014-15, Barta heads into her senior year as Army's school record-holder in the 200-yard breaststroke and ranks fifth all-time in the 200 freestyle, sixth in the 500 free, eighth in the 200 IM and ninth in the 100 breaststroke. She also wrote her name on the record board as a member of the freshman 400 and 800 free relay teams.
A member of the Phi Delta Epsilon (medical school fraternity) since 2012, Barta has helped the swimming and diving team host the Special Olympics swim meet each spring at West Point. She is also a member of the Relay for Life and this spring was a participant for the Habitat for Humanity.