Austin, Texas. (May 17) – Six MIT student-athletes have been recognized by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) as they were all selected to the Google Cloud Academic All-District At-Large Team on Thursday afternoon. All six will now appear on the national ballot for consideration for the Academic All-America At-Large Team, which will be voted on and released on Monday, June 11.
Women's fencing junior Helen Sakharova (Ridgewood, N.J.) was the only repeat selection for the Engineers this year, while junior Tyler Barr (Chagrin Falls, Ohio) from the men's tennis team, sophomores Bouke Edskes (Rockville, Md.) and Samuel Solomon (Rockville, Md.) from the men's swimming and diving team, senior Elysa Kohrs (Half Moon Bay, Calif.) from the women's tennis team and senior Jessica Chen (Rockville, Md.) from the women's swimming and diving team were all first-time honorees.
MIT is the all-time Division III leader in producing Academic All-Americas (279) and ranks second across all NCAA Divisions only behind the University of Nebraska. CoSIDA, which began its recognition of NCAA scholar-athletes in the 1950's, has honored thousands of deserving recipients across all divisions in numerous sports. To be eligible, a student-athlete must be a starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.30 on a 4.00 scale, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standing at his/her institution and be nominated by his/her Sports Information Director. In the at-large category, student-athletes must compete in the following sports: women's beach volleyball, women's bowling, women's crew, men's and women's fencing, field hockey, men's and women's golf, men's and women's gymnastics, men's and women's ice hockey, men's and women's lacrosse, men's and women's rifle, men's and women's skiing, men's and women's swimming, men's and women's tennis, men's volleyball, men's and women's water polo and wrestling.
Named to the 2017 CoSIDA Academic All-America Second Team, Sakharova has a 3.92 GPA while majoring in computer science and molecular biology. She is a two-time NCAA qualifier and was the only Division III epee fencer both years. Sakharova was the 2017 NCAA Elite 90 Award recipient and finished 21st at this year's national championship. The Northeast Fencing Conference (NFC) Women's Fencer of the Year, she compiled a record of 38-1 in conference action while going 66-12 for the season. In addition, Sakharova captured the epee title at the New England Championship. She spent last summer as a web design instructor for Middle Eastern Entrepreneurs of Tomorrow where she taught, planned daily lectures and hands-on labs for Israeli and Palestinian high schoolers. Sakharova was a research intern at the Biomedical Neuroscience Institute in Santiago, Chile and has conducted research in the MIT Weiss Lab for Synthetic Biology as well as the MIT Picower Institute of Learning and Memory.
Kohrs, who was named as the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Player of the Year for the third time in her career, boats a 3.84 GPA as a computer science major. This season, she was a First Team All-Conference honoree and was selected to participate in the NCAA Singles/Doubles Championship in Claremont, Calif. A team captain, Kohrs helped lead the team to its second Elite Eight appearance after a thrilling 5-3 win over No. 6 ranked Tufts in the regional championship last weekend. At No. 1 singles, she has an overall mark of 16-1 this season to go along with a 19-3 record at No. 1 doubles. In addition, Kohrs is ranked No. 2 in the latest ITA Northeast Region rankings, along with a No. 5 ranking at doubles for her and freshman Libby Rickeman (Wayzata, Minn.). The Engineers have posted an all-time single-season record for wins with 20 and will face Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Monday in the National Quarterfinals.
A three-year member and captain of the men's tennis team, Barr was named as the 2018 NEWMAC Player of the Year after leading the Engineers to their 20th straight conference title this spring. Barr, who sports a 3.76 GPA and is completing his undergraduate degree in mathematics with computer science, led the Engineers to the NCAA Tournament once again as their No. 1 singles player. The junior, who earned All-America honors in the 2017 Singles Championship Tournament a year ago, posted a record of 12-8 in singles play including a 9-4 record at No. 1 and a mark of 17-7 in doubles this season. Barr has accepted a summer internship at Susquehanna International Group and has previously served as a Cardiology Researcher at the Cleveland Clinic and as an Undergraduate Researcher at Sloan School of Management testing computation times of different optimization software such as Gurobi and CBC by writing different formulations of solving for the minimum number of gates Logan Airport needs in order to avoid planes needing to wait on the runway.
Chen, a mechanical engineering major with a 3.76 GPA and a captain of the women's swimming and diving team, is a 16-time NCAA All-American and a 16-time NEWMAC Champion as well as a 20-time NEWMAC All-Conference selection. A two-time NEWMAC Academic All-Conference selection and two-time CSCAA Scholar All-American, Chen holds eight NEWMAC records and six program records. At the NCAA Division III National Championship this winter, Chen finished fifth in the 100-breast, seventh in the 200-medley relay and the 200-free relay, eighth in the 400-medley relay, ninth in the 200-breast and 12th in the 400-free relay. Out of the pool, Chen is the Co-Director and Treasurer for Camp Kesem and is the Internal Mentorship Chair for the Society of Women Engineers. With a concentration in biomedical engineering, Chen has also served as an intern in the Boehm Lab at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.
Solomon, a chemical and biological engineering major with a perfect 4.00 GPA, is a four-time NCAA Diving All-American, a four-time NEWMAC Diving Champion and two-time NEWMAC Men's Diver of the Year. This season, Solomon swept both boards at the NEWMAC Championship and at the NCAA Division III National Championship placed 10th on the 3-meter board and 12th on the 1-meter board and over the past two seasons has broken the MIT program records on both boards with scores of 534.00 (1-meter) and 563.40 (3-meter). Out of the pool, Solomon is an undergraduate researcher with the New Engineering Education Transformation (NEET): Living Machine Thread and has done research in the Plasma Science and Fusion Center as well as the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. In addition to his research, Solomon is the Secretary of MIT's Marine Robotics Team and has done community service fundraising for AEPi's Gift of Life philanthropy project, as well as at the Boston Medical Center with the Parent Leadership in Autism Network (PLAN) program.
Edskes, a two-time NCAA National Runner-Up as a mechanical engineering major with a 3.84 GPA, is a 10-time All-American, a 13-time NEWMAC Champion and has been named twice as the NEWMAC Men's Swimmer of the Year and once as the NEWMAC Men's Swimming and Diving Rookie of the Year. In just two years with the Engineers, he has set eight NEWMAC records and five program records en route to guiding MIT to its ninth straight top-10 NCAA finish and to its 13th NEWMAC conference title. Out of the pool, the sophomore is a student researcher in the MIT Aerospace Controls Lab and is a competitor for MIT RACECAR.