Asia Seidt, Raena Eldridge Named SEC Nominees For NCAA Woman of the Year

asia-seidt
Kentucky's Asia Seidt. Photo Courtesy: Connor Trimble

Raena Eldridge of the Texas A&M women’s swimming and diving team, and Asia Seidt of Kentucky, earned a conference-level nomination for NCAA Woman of the Year, as announced by the NCAA Tuesday afternoon. While 161 female student-athletes in total were nominated, Eldridge and Seidt are one of 59 student-athletes nominated from the Division I level.

Asia Seidt, Kentucky, NCAA Woman of the Year Nominee

asia-seidt-

Photo Courtesy: Connor Trimble

Asia Seidt, a Louisville, Kentucky, native, graduated in May, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in kinesiology with summa cum laude honors. She will attend UK’s Physical Therapy Graduate Program this fall.

Of all swimmers and divers – male or female – who have ever come through the Kentucky swimming and diving program, Seidt holds the most records. She 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.

“It is difficult to put into words how meaningful this award is to me and my swimming career,” Asia Seidt said. “Since I wasn’t able to finish my championship season, this helps bring a sense of accomplishment, really on behalf of the University of Kentucky and my team. Even though many sports were cut short, it means a lot that the NCAA is continuing with this award and is recognizing the incredible student-athletes in the class of 2020. I am honored to be in the field with the best of the best, and I look forward to the next step in the process.”

In her (nearly four) years at Kentucky, she has earned 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 Arthur Ashe Female Sports Scholar of the Year recipient, 2020 SEC H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete of the Year recipient, and the 2020 CoSIDA At-Large Academic Female Winner of the Year.

Asia Seidt hails from the storied Lakeside Swim Club in Louisville. Over the years, the club has produced 10 U.S. Olympians. The club’s swimming team has also been ranked among the top 20 teams in the country every year since 2002.

Raena Eldridge, Texas A&M, NCAA Woman of the Year Nominee

raena-eldridge-bill-mixon-2015 (2)

Photo Courtesy: Andy Ringgold/Aringo Photos

Raena Eldridge graduated from Texas A&M in May with degrees in animal science and genetics, while also earning a business minor. She boasted a 3.979 cumulative GPA through her five years in Aggieland and has begun Vet School at NC State. Eldridge was named the Arthur Ashe, Jr., Female Sports Scholar of the Year, awarded to one male and one female student-athlete each year that exhibit academic excellence as well as community activism in addition to their athletic contributions. The Rockwall, Texas, native was A&M’s female nominee for the H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Post-Graduate Scholarship, and for the second year in a row, was named the Bill Erwin Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year at A&M’s annual Building Champions Awards. She earned College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) Academic All-America honorable mention accolades as a sophomore and garnered first team honors as a junior and senior.

A team captain for her final two seasons, Eldridge was a part of four consecutive SEC Team Championships throughout her career. She was a two-time CSCAA All-American and earned All-SEC Second Team honors as a sophomore. Eldridge helped earn big points for the Aggies at SEC Championships as a sophomore, helping the 200 medley relay team reach the podium with a second-place finish, while adding a fifth-place finish with the 200 free relay squad. Individually at SEC Championships, she contributed a pair of top 16 finishes in the 100 back and 50 free that season. Eldridge also swam on winning teams in the 400 free relay and 400 medley relay to help the Aggies win the team title at the 2017 U.S. Open.

Away from the pool and the classroom, Eldridge served as a Student Technician at the Genetics Research Lab and as a member of the Pre-Vet Society. She was a project leader for the Aggie Research Scholars Program and started SPLASH, a non-profit organization that teaches swimming and swim safety. Eldridge also contributed her time at Save Our Streets Ministries in Bryan since 2016, mentoring elementary school girls.

NCAA Woman of the Year

From a program-record pool of 605 school nominees announced in July, 161 college athletes have been named conference-level nominees for the 2020 NCAA Woman of the Year honor. The nominees represent student-athletes from 21 different sports spanning all three NCAA divisions. Of those nominated, 59 nominees competed in Division I, 39 in Division II and 63 in Division III.

Conferences can recognize two nominees if at least one is a woman of color or international student-athlete. All nominees who compete in a sport not sponsored by their school’s primary conference, as well as associate conference nominees and independent nominees, were placed in a separate pool to be considered by a selection committee. Four nominees from the pool were selected to move forward in the process with the conference nominees.

The Woman of the Year Selection Committee, made up of representatives from the NCAA membership, will now choose the top 30 honorees — 10 from each division — from the conference-level nominees. The Top 30 honorees will be announced in September. From there, the selection committee will narrow the pool to three finalists from each division. The NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics will select the 2020 Woman of the Year from the nine finalists.

The NCAA Woman of the Year program is rooted in Title IX and has recognized graduating female college athletes for excellence in academics, athletics, community service and leadership since its inception in 1991.

Previous NCAA Woman of the Year Winners (Swimming & Diving)

  • 1997: Lisa Coole, Georgia
  • 2000: Kristy Kowal, Georgia
  • 2001: Kim Black, Georgia
  • 2003: Ashley Jo Rowatt Karpinos, Kenyon
  • 2005: Lauryn McCalley, Tennessee
  • 2007: Whitney Myers, Arizona
  • 2009: Lacey Nymeyer, Arizona
  • 2010: Justine Schluntz, Arizona
  • 2015: Kristin Day, Clarion University of Pennsylvania
  • 2016: Margaret Guo, MIT

— The above press release was posted by Swimming World in conjunction with Texas A&M & Kentucky Swimming & Diving. For press releases and advertising inquiries please contact Advertising@SwimmingWorld.com.