The The National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association (NISCA) has named the Ames High School Girls Swim team No. 1 in the nation in its class for its All America Award. NISCA is a professional organization that supports High School coaches of all aquatic sports and is dedicated to coaches’ education and athlete recognition through its All America programs.

For team member Grace Snyder, the award was an unexpected bonus following a perfect regular season and a fifth state title in six years.

“We weren’t expecting this award, so we were shocked and excited,” said Snyder, who’s starting her senior year. “There’s a big range of schools in our class. We were especially proud of our academic showing.”

Coach Dan Flannery said he was more proud of his state championship team’s collective GPA than its meet record.

“The National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association (NISCA) gave us a “Gold” standard for our collective GPA of 3.89,” he said.

Snyder credits the Ames Community School District for helping students at every level with “the skills and character they need to study, do their classwork, prepare for college and life.” She says the District builds students’ intrinsic motivation and all the teachers and coaches are supportive.

Flannery said he recognizes the girls; unselfish attitudes and work ethic that add up to success.

“The first thought that comes to mind is that all of our girls are willing to sacrifice for the good of the group rather than the individual,” he said.  “Everyone works so hard and has individual goals, but our Ames kids are unselfish when it comes to making the team better. Many sacrifices have been made over the years and sometimes it’s the little things that make the greater difference.”

Watch this site for the published rankings, which will be posted soon.