Four days after being named the Arthur Ashe Female Sports Scholar of the Year and one month removed from being selected as the Southeastern Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year, junior University of Kentucky swimmer Asia Seidt added to her decorated season on Thursday when she was presented with the Elite 90 award by the NCAA.
The honor recognizes an 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 90 is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA’s 90 championships.
A four-time Southeastern Conference Champion and five-time NCAA First-Team All-American, Seidt is competing in the 2019 NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships March 20-23, making her third straight appearance in the national meet. The Louisville native qualified for three individual events, tied with senior Geena Freriks for the most qualified events on the team – 100 and 200 backstroke, 200 IM – and she helped UK to four eligible relay events.
Thus far, Seidt has swam in one individual event and two relay events in the 2019 NCAA Championships. In the process, she has landed a finals spot (top 16) in each of her swims. This morning, Seidt recorded a season-best 1:53.51 in the 200 IM to earn the fifth overall seed in tonight’s finals round. Seidt is the school record holder in the event for her 2018 time stamp of 1:53.04.
In February at the SEC Championships, Seidt won a gold medal in the 200 backstroke to become the three-time defending champion in the event. The junior is ranked in the top 15 in the 100 and 200 backstroke and the 200 IM for times recorded in 2019, and is currently the third-fastest female in the in the nation in the 200 backstroke with her gold-medal time of 1:49.31, recorded in the league meet. Seidt is the only UK swimmer in school history to have won three straight titles in the conference meet in a single event.
This season, Seidt has yet to eclipse her career-best time of 1:49.24 in the 200 backstroke, posted at the 2018 NCAA Championships to collect a silver medal and break a school record.
Seidt was named the 2019 SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year in February, marking the third time in five years that a UK swimmer has received the honor. Pursing a Bachelor of Science in Education, majoring in kinesiology with a pre-physical therapy focus, Seidt boasts a 4.0 cumulative GPA.
Leading her team in and out of the pool, Seidt has participated in various community service projects with her teammates, including bowling with athletes from Special Olympics Kentucky, volunteering with Tri for Sight, Real Men Read and the Hope Center of Lexington.
Her accomplishments in the pool, in the classroom and in her community are not overlooked. The 2018 University of Kentucky Female Athlete of the Year and the 2017 SEC Female Freshman of the Year, Seidt currently holds six individual school records and has contributed to four record relays. She earned a spot at the 2019 World University World Games and the 2018-19 USA Swimming National Team, marking her second year on each team.
Last year, Seidt was voted to the 2018 CoSIDA Academic All-America Women’s At-Large Third Team. She is a recipient of the University of Kentucky Athletic Scholarship and the 2017 and 2018 University of Kentucky Swim Team Scholarship Award.
Seidt is following in the footsteps of one of the most adorned athletes to come out of the UK women’s swimming and diving program, Danielle Galyer. The only Kentucky swimmer to ever win a gold medal at the NCAA Championships, Galyer won the Elite 90 award in 2015-16 and 2016-17.
The Elite 90, an award founded by the NCAA, 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 90 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 90 award winners, log on to NCAA.com/elite-90.
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