BIRMINGHAM, Alabama, May 7. GEORGIA swimmer Shannon Vreeland has been chosen as the 2013-14 Southeastern Conference H. Boyd McWhorter Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year, according to an announcement by the league office.
Golfer Cory Whitsett of Alabama was named the Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
Chosen by a committee of Faculty Athletics Representatives from the SEC universities, Vreeland and Whitsett will receive $15,000 postgraduate scholarships from AT&T and the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
“Cory and Shannon demonstrate a commitment to excellence that makes them the ideal choices for the H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Award,” Commissioner Mike Slive said. “This is the SEC’s most prestigious award and they deserve this honor because of their hard work that allows them to excel at the highest level in their sport and in the classroom. I congratulate them as outstanding representatives of their respective institutions and the SEC.”
Vreeland, an Overland Park, Kansas, native, is a double major in Economics and International Affairs and is on target to graduate in December. She currently holds a 3.83 grade point average. Vreeland was named a recipient of the Ramsey Scholarship for Academic and Athletic Excellence and chosen as the recipient of the Lisa Coole Memorial Scholarship. She is a past member of the Capital One Academic All-America and CSCAA Scholar All-America squads.
Vreeland is a member of the UGA Honors Program and is in Palladia, the Student Government Association, the UGA Leadership Academy, Blue Key and Omicron Delta Kappa.
Named to the SEC and Athletic Director honor rolls, Vreeland serves as a swimming and diving representative on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and was chosen for the SEC Community Service Team. She previously was recognized as the SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year for swimming and diving.
Vreeland placed second in the 200 freestyle, fifth in the 100 freestyle and sixth in the 500 freestyle at the NCAAs as the Lady Bulldogs won their second straight national championship. She came in second on the 800 freestyle relay, third on the 400 medley relay and fourth on the 400 freestyle relay at the NCAAs.
Vreeland, a team captain, won the 200 freestyle and placed second in the 100 and 500 freestyle at the SEC Championships as the Lady Bulldogs won their fifth straight title. She finished first on the 400 and 800 freestyle relays and second on the 400 medley relay at the SEC meet.
Vreeland won a gold medal at the 2012 Olympics and three gold medals at the 2013 World Championships.
Earlier this year, Vreeland was recognized as the Kansas City Sports Commission’s Sportswoman of the Year.
“Shannon has earned everything she’s gotten by setting her goals and working hard every day to reach them,” said Harvey Humphries, Georgia’s acting head coach. “She’s world class in all that she does because she never has a bad day and she never stops working. Her level of commitment is amazing. She’s been a tremendous ambassador for our program, and we’re so proud of her for earning the Scholar-Athlete of the Year recognition.”
Vreeland is the seventh Georgia swimmer to earn the McWhorter Scholarship, joining Virginia Diederich (1986), Linda Leith (1988), Deanne Burnett (1989), Andy DeVooght (1997), Kim Black (2001) and Wendy Trott (2012). Georgia tennis players Al Parker and Joey Pitts won the award in 1991 and 2000, respectively.
“I am honored and humbled to receive this recognition,” Vreeland said. “I have coaches, teammates, support staff, professors, classmates and friends who have helped me grow so much during my time in Athens. You are cared for here on so many levels. I’m grateful for what we’ve done in the pool and equally grateful for the educational opportunity I’ve had. I’m pleased to accept this award on behalf of the University of Georgia and everyone associated with Georgia swimming and diving.”
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