The National Wrestling Coaches Association announced its annual Division I All-Academic Top 30 Teams and the NWCA Individual All-Academic wrestling team for the 2009-10 wrestling season. The list includes redshirt freshman Aaron Pickrel as an individual and South Dakota State in the team category.

Pickrel earned a 3.867 cumulative GPA and ranks third among all academic honorees. On the mat, Pickrel posted a 24-13 record and placed fourth at the NCAA West Regional.

To qualify for the All-Academic team, a wrestler must have at least a 3.2 cumulative GPA, and either been an NCAA qualifier or won 60 percent of his total schedule - and must have competed in at least 60 percent of said schedule. The other way to qualify for the All-Academic team is to have a 3.0 GPA and been an NCAA All-American.

"This is a great accomplishment for Aaron. He is an outstanding student-athlete and very deserving of this honor," said head coach Jason Liles. "An honor like this shows just how hard our student-athletes work on and off the mat"

As a team, SDSU placed 12th among Division I programs with a 3.106 GPA, moving up one spot from last year's 13th place finish with a 3.06 mark.

For teams to be eligible for consideration, the team GPA is comprised of 12 student athletes, including the 10 wrestlers that were the entries in the NCAA tournament conference qualifier. If teams had less than 10 entries for their respective qualifier, they may fill those spots with wrestlers that competed in at least one varsity dual during the season.

"The award is a tribute to how hard our guys work as student-athletes," said Liles. "It is really impressive when you look at the time and energy they commit to everything in front of them. We are very proud of this accomplishment."