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UK's Seidt Named SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year


Asia Seidt (UK Athletics Photo)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Kentucky swimmer Asia Seidt has been named the female recipient of the 2019-20 Southeastern Conference H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete of the Year award, SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey announced Tuesday.

LSU basketball player Skylar Mays joins Seidt as the male recipient of the honor.

The two were chosen by a committee of Faculty Athletics Representatives from SEC universities and each will receive a $20,000 post-graduate scholarship. The honorees were chosen from student-athletes across all SEC sports.

“The Boyd McWhorter Award is the highest achievement the Southeastern Conference can bestow on a student-athlete,” said Mitch Barnhart, UK Director of Athletics. “Asia Seidt embodies the characteristics of elite-level achievement in every area of life. There is no one more fitting to receive this award than Asia. Her accomplishments, leadership and dedication exemplify the principles of the student-athlete. We have been incredibly proud and honored to have her wear the Blue and White and excited to see the great things she will continue to do on her journey.”

Seidt is the most decorated student-athlete of all time in the UK swimming and diving program. The Louisville, Kentucky, native has earned more All-America honors, NCAA Championship podium finishes, SEC Championship medals and All-SEC First Team selections than any UK swimmer or diver, man or woman, that has come before her.

Asia Seidt (UK Athletics Photo)

“I am so honored to receive the Boyd McWhorter scholarship,” Seidt said. “The Southeastern Conference includes some of the most elite athletes in the world, and it has been incredible to be a part of the program for the past four years. I want to thank the athletic department, my coaches and my professors for giving me the opportunity to compete and study at the collegiate level. This scholarship will allow me to continue my education and pursue a career in the medical field. Finally, I want to thank my teammates that have supported me every step of the way.”

In her years at Kentucky, the Louisville native has collected 21 All-America honors, 15 SEC Championship medals, eight NCAA Championship podium finishes, four conference titles, one USA Swimming Summer Nationals gold medal and one World University Games silver medal. Seidt holds five individual school records, was twice named to the USA Swimming National Team, twice qualified for Team USA Olympic Trials, was three times named to the All-SEC First Team, is the 2019 ELITE 90 recipient, 2019 SEC Swimming and Diving Scholar-Athlete of the Year recipient and the 2019 Arthur Ashe Female Sports Scholar of the Year recipient.

“She embodies everything it means to be an elite student-athlete,” said head coach Lars Jorgensen. “She has excelled in all areas and has been such a great representative of our team and athletic department. It’s been a rewarding four years, and now she will leave a legacy on our program.”

The summa cum laude graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in kinesiology will attend the UK’s Physical Therapy Graduate Program this fall, while she expects to train for the 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials.

Past recipients of the honor are as follows (Kentucky recipients in bold):

1986 – John Young, Tennessee (track) and Virginia Diederich, Georgia (swimming)

1987 – Jeff Noblin, Ole Miss (football) and Julie Estin, Alabama (gymnastics)

1988 – Danny Hoskins, Ole Miss (football) and Linda Leith, Georgia (swimming)

1989 – Mikael Olander, LSU (track) and Deanne Burnett, Georgia (swimming)

1990 – Burke Masters, Mississippi State (baseball) and Janice Kerr, Florida (gymnastics)

1991 – Al Parker, Georgia (tennis) and Patty Wiegand, Tennessee (track and cross country)

1992 – Jeff Laubenthal, Alabama (baseball) and Jenifer Kleyn, Auburn (volleyball)

1993 – Lang Wiseman, Tennessee (basketball) and Aimee York, Mississippi State (volleyball)

1994 – Peter Duitsman, South Carolina (soccer) and Tammy Newlon, Mississippi State (basketball)

1995 – Michael Blanchard, LSU (football) and April Ecke, Mississippi State (cross country)

1996 – Martin Nyberg, LSU (swimming) and Michelle Palmisano, Vanderbilt (basketball)

1997 – Andrew DeVooght, Georgia (swimming) and Meredith Willard, Alabama (gymnastics)

1998 – Jeremy Jackson, Mississippi State (baseball) and Shani Abshier, South Carolina (volleyball)

1999 – Jeff Zurcher, Kentucky (football) and Jessica Field, Arkansas (volleyball)

2000 – Joey Pitts, Georgia (tennis) and Lisette Lee, LSU (golf)

2001 – Scott Westerfield, Mississippi State (football) and Kim Black, Georgia (swimming)

2002 – Trey Dyson, South Carolina (baseball) and Tiffany Woolley, Arkansas (softball)

2003 – Matt Bonner, Florida (basketball) and Kristin Sterner, Alabama (gymnastics)

2004 – Caesar Garcia, Auburn (swimming & diving) and Lauren Imwalle, Alabama (soccer)

2005 – Rob Robertson, Ole Miss (football) and Lauryn McCalley, Tennessee (swimming & diving)

2006 – Rudy Niswanger, LSU (football) and Sarah Lowe, Florida (basketball)

2007 – Emeel Salem, Alabama (baseball) and Erika Schneble, Vanderbilt (track & field)

2008 – Joseph Sykora, Alabama (golf) and Kristen Hastrup, Auburn (swimming & diving)

2009 – Bram ten Berge, Ole Miss (tennis) and Christine Magnuson, Tennessee (swimming & diving)

2010 – Jordan Anderson, Auburn (swimming & diving) and Phoebe Wright, Tennessee (track & field)

2011 – Dan Mazzaferro, Auburn (swimming & diving) and Erica Meissner, Auburn (swimming & diving)

2012 – Michael Roth, South Carolina (baseball) and Wendy Trott, Georgia (swimming & diving)

2013 – Barrett Jones, Alabama (football) and Chelsea Oswald, Kentucky (track & field/cross country)

2014 – Cory Whitsett, Alabama (golf) and Shannon Vreeland, Georgia (swimming)

2015 – Nathanael Franks, Arkansas (track & field) and Maddie Locus, Georgia (swimming)

2016 – Forrest Gamble, Ole Miss (golf) and Haylie McCleney, Alabama (softball)

2017 – Anton McKee, Alabama (swimming) and Sarah Gibson, Texas A&M (swimming)

2018 – Parker Henry, Tennessee (football) and Kelly Quinn, LSU (volleyball)

2019 – Nathan Hite, Texas A&M (track & field) and Kristin Quah, Vanderbilt (bowling)

2020 – Skylar Mays, LSU (basketball) and Asia Seidt, Kentucky (swimming)

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