Garcia Continues to Receive Career Kudos; Named NCAA “Today’s Top VIII Recipient”

AUBURN, Ala. December 16. AUBURN announced yesterday that the NCAA had named the school’s former star diver, Caesar Garcia, as a 2004 NCAA Today's Top VIII Award winner, the NCAA announced.

Garcia had an outstanding career on the Plains, which culminated this past summer with an Olympic Team berth on the platform. Prior to that he had won back-to-back NCAA titles on the platform, the only man to ever accomplish that feat, while also winning the SEC title in the same event in back-to-back seasons and was named the 2004 NCAA Diver of the Year.

A Walter Byers Award finalist for the top scholar-athlete in the country, he had also been named the 2004 CoSIDA Academic All-American of the Year and was the SEC's 2004 H. Boyd McWhorter Award winner.

A mechanical engineering major with a 3.92 grade point average, Garcia is a nine-time All-American. He joins Matt Busbee ('99) as Auburn's swimming and diving program's Top VIII Award recipients.

The other winners are Kelly Albin from UC Davis (lacrosse), Tara Kirk from Stanford (swimming), Kelly Mazzante of Penn State (women's basketball), Kay Kikolajczak from Wisconsin-Oshkosh (women's basketball), Ogonna Nnamani of Stanford (women's volleyball), Angela Ruggieros of Harvard (women's ice hockey) and Kelly Wilson from Texas (women's soccer).

The Today's Top VIII Award winners are a group of distinguished student-athletes from the 2004 calendar year who will be recognized for their academic and athletics achievements, character and leadership at the 40th annual NCAA Honors Dinner on Sunday, Jan. 9, at the NCAA Convention in Grapevine, Texas.

The NCAA Honors Committee, which comprises eight athletics administrators at member institutions and nationally distinguished citizens who are former students-athletes select the NCAA Today's Top VIII honorees. The committee members are: Cedric W. Dempsey, president emeritus, NCAA; Clyde Doughty Jr., athletics director, New York Institute of Technology; Jo Ann Harper, director of athletics, Dartmouth College; Susan Hartmann, professor of history, Ohio State University; Calvin Hill, consultant, Alexander & Associates, Inc.; Karen Johnson, director of institutional research, Alfred University; and Valerie A. Richardson, chair of the NCAA Honors Committee and associate athletics director and senior women's administrator, University of California, Santa Barbara.

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