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Mitchell Honored With NCAA’s Elite 89 Award for Div. I Wrestling

By Howard Smith

Mitchell Honored With NCAA’s Elite 89 Award for Division I Wrestling

Daniel Mitchell of the American University wrestling team has been selected as the recipient of NCAA Division I Wrestling’s Elite 89 award for the 2012 Championship, the association has announced (Watch the presentation video). A junior from Broomfield, Colo., Mitchell was presented with the prestigious award prior to the Friday night session at the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships in St. Louis, Mo., becoming American's first-ever recipient of the honor in any sport.

In the classroom, Mitchell carries a 3.95 cumulative grade-point average as a Business Administration major in the Kogod School of Business. Last year, he was honored as a NWCA Academic All-American after posting the fifth-highest cumulative GPA amongst Division I wrestlers.

On the mat, Mitchell is making his third straight appearance at the NCAA Championships. He has placed at the EIWA Championships in each of his three seasons, which included a third-place finish in 2011 and a fourth-place result in 2010.

“It’s a honor to receive this award and be recognized as a top student-athlete in the country,” commented Mitchell. “I make sure to keep a strong focus on academics, especially during the wrestling season, because I know how important both are. I feel fortunate to have these opportunities at American.”

For his career, Mitchell is 60-28 at American with 15 falls, 11 major decisions, and one technical fall. His 15 career pins are good for seventh-most in program history. Additionally, Mitchell posted 33 victories in the 2010-11 season, the second-most single-season wins in AU history.

“Danny is a special student-athlete,” added Head Coach Teague Moore. “He is one of the hardest workers that we have and to accomplish what he has in all facets of his life is extraordinary. We are lucky to have Danny as a student-athlete and look forward to his continued success both on and off the mat.”

The Elite 89, an award founded by the NCAA in the 2009-10 academic year, recognizes the true essence of the student-athlete by honoring the individual who has reached the pinnacle of competition at the national championship level in his or her sport, while also achieving the highest academic standard among his or her peers. The Elite 89 is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA’s championships.

Eligible student-athletes are sophomores or above who have participated in their sport for at least two years with their school. They must be an active member of the team, traveling and a designated member of the squad size at the championship. All ties are broken by the number of credits completed.

For more information on the Elite 89 award winners, log on to NCAA.com/elite89.