Smith, Dieckhaus earn Academic All-MAC nods

Nick Smith
Nick Smith

Northern Illinois sophomore Nick Smith and senior Brad Dieckhaus were named to the Wrestling Academic All-Mid-American Conference Team, the league office announced Thursday.

Both athletes won the honor for the first time in their careers. Dieckhaus boasts a 4.0 in sport management, while Smith maintains a 3.41 GPA in kinesiology.

“Brad and Nick have really made the NIU wrestling program proud with this academic honor,” said Huskie head coach Ryan Ludwig. “I’m a firm believer in the idea that your success in the classroom has direct correlations to your success on the mat. It shows focus and ambition. These two exemplify that ideal.”

Brad Dieckhaus
Brad Dieckhaus

Dieckhaus qualified for the NCAA Championships for the second consecutive season in 2011-12 after taking second place at 184 pounds at the MAC Championships.

The St. Charles, Mo., native also became the 12th different Huskie in the program’s history to complete an undefeated regular season, doing so with an 11-0 mark.

Meanwhile, Smith notched his second double-digit win season in as many years at NIU with a 14-7 record in 2011-12. His accomplishments during the season included taking second place at the Michigan State Open at 125 pounds and leading the team in major decisions.

Last season, Vince Castillo was the lone Huskie to make it on to the team.

The Academic All-MAC honor is for student-athletes who have excelled in both athletics and academics. To qualify, a student-athlete must have at least a 3.20 cumulative GPA and have participated in at least 50 percent of the meets that season. First-year students and junior college transfers in their first year of residence are not eligible for the award.

For more information on NIU wrestling and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.

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