Georgia’s Gunnar Bentz Awarded NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Georgia standouts Keturah Orji of track and field and Gunnar Bentz from swimming and diving have been chosen as 2018 recipients of NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships, according to an announcement by the NCAA.

Orji and Bentz each will receive a $7,500 Postgraduate Scholarship from the NCAA, which awards 87 to women and 87 to men annually. Dating back to 1965, Georgia’s overall athletic program has 79 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship recipients.

Former Lady Bulldog Southeastern Conference track and field champion Bridget Lyons is the last member of the track program to earn this postgraduate scholarship in 2011.  Corrie Drakulich also represented the program by being awarded the $24,000 Walter Byers Graduate Scholarship in 2004.

Since 1986, the Georgia swimming and diving program has produced 39 recipients (29 women, 10 men) of an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, garnering more than $200,000.

Orji, a native of Mount Olive, N.J., graduated with a degree in Financial Planning on May 4 after sporting a 3.97 grade point average.  She will begin pursuing her Master’s degree in Sport Management in the 2018 fall semester.  Orji is a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-American and a three-time U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) National Women’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

The three-time SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year is the collegiate record holder in the triple jump and has collected six NCAA individual crowns in the event.  Orji, who is also a three-time USTFCCCA National Women’s Field Athlete of the Year, also became the first SEC competitor in history to win an event four times both indoors and outdoors.

Orji goes into this week’s NCAA East Prelims in Tampa, Fla., as the national leader in both the triple and long jumps.  She recently swept both events at the SEC Outdoor Championships and is a combined 13-time First Team All-American in the triple and long jumps.  Orji was fourth at the 2016 Olympics in the triple jump, missing the bronze by three centimeters.

A native of Atlanta, Bentz has maintained a 3.56 GPA in Management. He has been recognized as a Scholar All-American by the College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association and he has been named to the SEC and UGA academic honor rolls. Bentz also was chosen for the SEC Community Service Team and earned one of the Brad Davis SEC Community Service Postgraduate Scholarships.

Bentz recently finished his swimming career with school records in the 200 butterfly and 200 individual medley and on three relays. He also ranked in the top 10 in school history in four additional individual events. Bentz earned 16 First-Team All-America citations, setting the school record, and finished with 20 overall.

In 2016, Bentz became Georgia swimming’s first Olympic gold medalist (and just the third male in UGA history, joining track’s Spec Towns and basketball’s Vern Fleming) as he helped the 4×200-meter freestyle relay win in Rio.

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