For the third consecutive year, five Kent State teams received NCAA Public Recognition Awards for outstanding academic performance -- the most by any Mid-American Conference institution -- while six Golden Flashes programs ranked No. 1 among MAC teams.
Gymnastics, volleyball, women's basketball, women's cross country and women's golf all received NCAA accolades for perfect multi-year scores of 1,000. Softball joined those five teams as APR leaders in the conference.
Following close behind were baseball, football, wrestling and soccer, which all ranked among the MAC's top three. Men's basketball ranked fourth in the conference, helping put 12 of Kent State's 16 teams in the MAC's top five and all four of the MAC priority sports (football 2nd, women's basketball 1st, volleyball 1st) in the top four.
Public Recognition Awards are based on a program's most recent multiyear Academic Progress Rate (APR), awarded to teams posting scores in the top 10 percent of their sport. The APR is an annual scorecard of academic achievement calculated for all Division I sports teams, measuring eligibility, graduation and retention.
"The academic accomplishments that our student-athletes are achieving is a testament to their hard work in the classroom and the continued support provided by the university, our coaches, and the athletic department administration," KSU senior associate athletic director Greg Glaus said. "The positive trends in our APR rates reflect the commitment that Kent State University makes to graduating our student-athletes while competing at the highest level athletically."
Kent State's women's cross country team is one of 93 teams nationally to be recognized in each of the 12 years of the Public Recognition program.
Nine Flashes teams (gymnastics, volleyball, women's basketball, women's cross country, women's golf, men's golf, men's cross country, softball, women's track & field) posted perfect single-year scores of 1,000 for the 2015-16 academic year. Last year also saw 12 Flashes teams maintain or improve from the previous season.
Every Kent State team had a multi-year APR rate above 930 and will not be subject to NCAA penalties.
The Flashes' APR recognition comes on the heels of a fall semester that saw 59 student-athletes earn a 4.0 grade point average, and a winter sports season that saw 25 earn MAC Distinguished Scholar-Athlete honors.
Kent State's Ines Delpech has received Academic All-District honors in the at-large category.
Delpech is one of 10 members in District 5 that is made up of schools in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. The at-large team is comprised of multiple sports, including gymnastics, tennis, fencing, swimming, golf, lacrosse, rowing and field hockey.
Delpech, a junior from Argentina, maintains a perfect 4.0 GPA while majoring in sociology. Delpech was named a 2016 NFHCA Third Team All-American after leading the Flashes to MAC regular season and tournament titles for the third consecutive year in 2016.
For the second week in a row and eighth time in her career, senior Ronnie Ladines was named MAC East Division Pitcher of the Week.
Ladines extended her scoreless innings streak to 24 with a pair of shutouts on the final weekend of the regular season. Coming off a perfect game in her previous outing, Ladines took a no-hitter into the seventh inning against Bowling Green. Then in her final appearance at the Diamond at Dix, Ladines tossed a two-hitter with eight strikeouts in a five-inning victory.
Kent State's Ian Holt and Chase Johnson were named to the 2017 Academic All-MAC Team.
Holt (Stow), the 2017 MAC Player of the Year, holds a 3.325 GPA as a business management major. He enters the NCAA postseason ranked 64th in the nation, and his scoring average of 71.43 is the second-best mark of all-time at Kent State. Holt has also recorded three rounds of 65 this season, a first in program history.
Johnson (Barberton/Walsh Jesuit), the 2016 MAC Player of the Year, holds a 3.446 GPA in the communications studies program. A 2017 All-MAC First Team selection, Johnson currently ranks 179th in the nation. He's placed in the top 30 of every tournament he's played in this season, and currently sports a career-best 72.49 scoring average.