Britton, Knauth Honored with CoSIDA Academic All-District Awards
May 19 – (PITTSBURGH, Pa.) – Seniors Justin Britton (Falls Church, Va. / George Mason) and William Knauth (Williamsport, Pa. / Williamsport Area) have been named to the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-District At-Large Team for 2022. The honor is the third for Britton while Knauth is a repeat honoree from last year.
Both Britton and Knauth will represent District 4, comprised of all the Division III schools in Pennsylvania, on the national ballot for Academic All-America consideration. To be eligible for the award, athletes must be starters or significant reserves in at least their sophomore season and carry a minimum GPA of 3.30.
Britton, who graduated in December with a degree in information systems and a 4.0 grade point average, led the Carnegie Mellon University men's swimming and diving team to a 14th-place finish at the 2022 NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championships. At the championship meet, Britton set three individual school records and was part of three relay school records while earning All-America recognition in the 100-yard backstroke by finishing sixth. Britton also earned All-America Honorable Mention accolades in five other events at this year's meet to bring his career total to 15.
Britton was honored by CoSIDA as an Academic All-American as a sophomore and a junior, prior to taking a year off from swimming in 2021 to return for his final year of competition this academic year. Britton twice won both backstroke events at the University Athletic Association (UAA) Championships and earned the NCAA Elite 90 award twice.
Away from the pool, Britton has served as the president of Schatz Club, been a small group leader for Cru, a software engineering intern at Appian Corp, a cyber security intern at Software Engineering Institute, and most recently was a software engineering intern at Capital One where he is now fully employed. Britton has volunteered his time during Special Olympics events and during the 1000plus day of service through the university. He was also a teaching assistant for Appliance Design and Development and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa.
Knauth completed his degree in physics and mathematical sciences with a 3.82 grade point average and was recently named the Byron Nelson Award recipient for his achievement in the classroom, on the course, and in his community. Knauth led Division III in scoring average with a 71.0 stroke average through 22 rounds before completing his career with an 18th-place finish at the 2022 NCAA Division III Men's Golf Championship where the Carnegie Mellon men's golf team placed sixth. For the season, Knauth won two individual events and had 16 rounds of even par or lower. Knauth set two school records this season with a single-round score of 65 twice and a 36-hole score of 137. At the 2022 UAA Championships, Knauth defeated both of his opponents and was named the tournament MVP while he was later honored as the UAA Men's Golf Player of the Year and earned PING All-Region honors.
Off the course, Knauth was a three-year corporate model risk intern for Wells Fargo and a teaching assistant for multiple classes at CMU. Through coursework, Knauth has been conducting new research in machine learning and artificial intelligence, specifically in interpretability, robustness and model simplification without sacrificing performance, and has wrote two academic journal articles on the topic with a patent application submitted. He has an award-nominated project in computer science "StrategyGolf," which uses advanced mutually recursive algorithms to predict expected strokes to hole out from any point on a golf course.