Texas A&M Nominates Raena Eldridge, Benjamin Walker for McWhorter Award

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Photo Courtesy: Andy Ringgold/Aringo Photos

Texas A&M’s swim team provides both of the school’s nominees for the SEC’s H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Post-Graduate Award, with Raena Eldridge and Benjamin Walker announced as finalists Thursday.

Walker excelled in and out of the pool for the Aggies. A native of The Woodlands, Texas, he was the first Aggie to win an individual SEC Championship in 2019. The team captain capped his career by winning the 100 breaststroke and 200 breaststroke (the latter for a second time) at the 2020 SEC Championships. He holds school records in both events and as part of the 200 and 400 medley relays. Walker is a two-time first-team All-SEC honoree.

Benjamin Walker-2015

Photo Courtesy: Andy Ringgold/Aringo Photos

In the classroom, the accounting major was a CSCAA Scholar All-American in 2018 and 2019. He was a member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll all four seasons and made A&M’s AD Honor Roll from 2017-19. Walker was also the team’s Student Athletic Advisory Committee representative and an athlete ambassador for the 12th Man Foundation.

Eldridge, a two-time team captain, is an academic powerhouse. She’s a double major in animal science and genetics. She was awarded the school’s Bill Erwin Scholar-Athlete of the Year in both 2019 and 2020, a prize recognizing athletic achievement while maintaining a GPA above 3.25. Her cumulative GPA is a robust 3.977.

Eldridge, who redshirted a season, was a CSCAA Scholar All-American from 2016-19 and a member of the SEC Honor Roll from 2016-20. She’s a project leader for the Aggie Research Scholars Program and served as a student technician in the university’s Genetics Research Lab. The Rockwall, Texas, native won the Aggie Heart Award, as voted by teammates, during her redshirt season in 2015-16.

In the water, Eldridge was part of three straight SEC championships, a versatile swimmer with top-10 times in school history in both the 50 free and 100 backstroke. She finished eighth in the 100 back at SECs this year and attained three NCAA B cuts and two Olympic Trials cuts.

The McWhorter Award grants post-graduate scholarships of $20,000 to the top male and female senior athlete from the conference’s 14 schools. The 26 finalists each receive a $10,000 scholarship. Texas A&M’s duo joins Alabama’s Zane Waddell, Auburn’s Bailey Nero, Florida’s Tori Bindi, Kentucky’s Asia Seidt and Glen Brown, and South Carolina’s William Riggs as swimmers nominated for the 2020 award.

The H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Postgraduate Scholarship has been presented annually since 1986 to the SEC’s top male and female scholar-athletes. The conference’s 14 member institutions will release their nominations over the next two weeks, and the recipient will be named in late May. Past swimming recipients include Anton McKee (Alabama, 2017), Sarah Gibson (Texas A&M, 2017), Maddie Locus (Georgia, 2015), Shannon Vreeland (Georgia, 2014), Wendy Trott (Georgia, 2012), Dan Mazzaferro (Auburn, 2011), Erica Meissner (Auburn, 2011), Jordan Anderson (Auburn, 2010) and Christine Magnuson (Tennessee, 2009).