April 5, 2013
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Chelsea Oswald has been named 2012-13 Southeastern Conference H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete of the Year, Commissioner Mike Slive announced Friday.
Oswald is the first-ever women's recipient from Kentucky. Wildcat football player Jeff Zurcher earned the award in 1999.
The honorees were chosen by a committee of Faculty Athletics Representatives from SEC universities and both will receive a $15,000 post-graduate scholarship, provided by AT&T, an SEC Corporate Champion sponsor, and the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
“I am extremely grateful for the recognition of this award because I am sure that every other nominee was as capable of winning,” Oswald said. “This award recognizes not only my achievements, but also all the great people who have helped me along the way. I truly would not have been able to do this without the help of the whole University of Kentucky including my coaches, teammates and family.
“I have been given such a great opportunity here at UK, and I’ve just tried my hardest every day to make the most of it. A sincere thank you to all.”
Alabama Football player Barrett Jones was the men’s recipient of the award.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the year Chelsea has had so far,” UK track and field and cross country head coach Edrick Floreal said. “The best is still yet to come. These sorts of awards are the byproduct of early morning workouts and late night study sessions.
“She is the model for what we want to instill from every member of our team.”
Oswald was the recipient of the 2013 NCAA Elite 89 Award for NCAA Indoor Track and Field, which is awarded to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each NCAA Championship.
She is expected to graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology in May 2013 and a Bachelor of Science in psychology in June 2014. Oswald holds a perfect 4.0 grade point average.
Oswald is a member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll, the Athletics Director’s Honor Roll and the Dean’s List each semester of her collegiate career. She is a NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship recipient as well as a nominee for the 2013 NCAA Walter Byers Scholarship.
Oswald has been honored as a 2012 U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-American in cross country and was also a first-team All-SEC recipient after a third-place finish at the 2012 SEC Cross Country Championships. She also earned 2013 USTFCCCA Indoor Track and Field All-America honors in the 3,000 meters and the distance medley relay. She was also a 2012 USTFCCCA cross country All-Academic honoree.
Oswald is an 2013 inductee to the prestigious UK Frank G. Ham Society of Character and is a UK Student-Athlete Advisory Committee officer. She is active in the community, volunteering with a number of organizations including Operation Homes, the Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign, the Soles for Souls shoe drive, God’s Pantry Meat Packing, the North East Ohio Cross Country Camp and the Hope Lodge Christmas Ceremony.
A member of the UK Pre-Physical Therapy Student Association and the UK Pre-Dental Student Association, Oswald is a volunteer at UK Health Care Sports Medicine and is a Chemistry Excel Teaching Assistant.
“The commitment and dedication that Barrett and Chelsea embody make them excellent selections for the SEC H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Award,” Slive said. “They have achieved success at the highest levels in their sport, the classroom and in the community. Barrett and Chelsea are outstanding representatives of their institutions and the SEC.”
The McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Award is being released in advance of Saturday’s National Student-Athlete Day, which was created in 1987 by the National Consortium for Academics and Sports (NCAS) and Northeastern University's Center for the Study of Sport in Society, and presented by the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) and the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).
National Student-Athlete Day is held each April 6 to celebrate outstanding student-athletes who have achieved excellence in academics and athletics while having made significant contributions to the community. It is also a time to recognize those parents, teachers, coaches and school systems which make it possible for young people to find the balance between academics and athletics.
The 13 other male recipients are: Dylan Breeding, Arkansas (football); Ashton Richardson, Auburn (football); Max Lang, Florida (track and field); Ty Frix, Georgia (football); Morgan Newton, Kentucky (football); Joseph Caraway, LSU (track and field); Adrian Forberg Skogeng, Ole Miss (tennis); Sam Frost, Mississippi State (baseball); Nathan McCormick, Missouri (wrestling); LB Dantzler, South Carolina (baseball); Brent Sterling, Tennessee (diving); Case Cochran, Texas A&M (golf); Richard Kent, Vanderbilt (football).
The 13 other female recipients are: Kayla Braud, Alabama (softball); Hope McLemore, Arkansas (softball); Blanche Alverson, Auburn (basketball); Betsy Smith, Florida (volleyball); Shayla Worley, Georgia (gymnastics); Madie Jones, LSU (volleyball); Neal Tisher, Ole Miss (track and field); Stephanie Becker, Mississippi State (softball); Allison Hu, Missouri (soccer); Whitney Avers, South Carolina (Swimming); Jasmine Brown, Tennessee (volleyball); Lindsey Miller, Texas A&M (volleyball); Gabby Smith, Vanderbilt (basketball).
The SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year Awards were first presented in 1986. They were renamed the SEC H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete of the Year awards in May 1990 to honor the former commissioner who served the conference from 1972-86.
Past recipients include: 2012 – Michael Roth, South Carolina (baseball) and Wendy Trott, Georgia (swimming & diving); 2011 – Dan Mazzaferro, Auburn (swimming & diving) and Erica Meissner, Auburn (swimming & diving); 2010 – Jordan Anderson, Auburn (swimming & diving) and Phoebe Wright, Tennessee (track & field); 2009 – Bram ten Berge, Ole Miss (golf) and Christine Magnuson, Tennessee (swimming & diving); 2008 – Joseph Sykora, Alabama (golf) and Kristen Hastrup, Auburn (swimming & diving); 2007 – Emeel Salem, Alabama (baseball) and Erika Schneble, Vanderbilt (track & field); 2006 – Rudy Niswanger, LSU (football) and Sarah Lowe, Florida (basketball); 2005 – Rob Robertson, Ole Miss (football) and Lauryn McCalley, Tennessee (swimming & diving); 2004 - Caesar Garcia, Auburn (swimming & diving) and Lauren Imwalle, Alabama (soccer); 2003 - Matt Bonner, Florida (basketball) and Kristin Sterner, Alabama (gymnastics); 2002 - Trey Dyson, South Carolina (baseball) and Tiffany Woolley, Arkansas (softball); 2001 - Scott Westerfield, Mississippi State (football) and Kim Black, Georgia (swimming); 2000 - Joey Pitts, Georgia (tennis) and Lisette Lee, LSU (golf); 1999 - Jeff Zurcher, Kentucky (football) and Jessica Field, Arkansas (volleyball); 1998 - Jeremy Jackson, Mississippi State (baseball) and Shani Abshier, South Carolina (volleyball); 1997 - Andrew DeVooght, Georgia (swimming) and Meredith Willard, Alabama (gymnastics); 1996 - Martin Nyberg, LSU (swimming) and Michelle Palmisano, Vanderbilt (basketball); 1995 - Michael Blanchard, LSU (football) and April Ecke, Mississippi State (cross country); 1994 - Peter Duitsman, South Carolina (soccer) and Tammy Newlon, Mississippi State (basketball); 1993 - Lang Wiseman, Tennessee (basketball) and Aimee York, Mississippi State (volleyball); 1992 - Jeff Laubenthal, Alabama (baseball) and Jenifer Kleyn, Auburn (volleyball); 1991 - Al Parker, Georgia (tennis) and Patty Wiegand, Tennessee (track and cross country); 1990 - Burke Masters, Mississippi State (baseball) and Janice Kerr, Florida (gymnastics); 1989 - Mikael Olander, LSU (track) and Deanne Burnett, Georgia (swimming); 1988 - Danny Hoskins, Ole Miss (football) and Linda Leith, Georgia (swimming); 1987 - Jeff Noblin, Ole Miss (football) and Julie Estin, Alabama (gymnastics); 1986 - John Young, Tennessee (track) and Virginia Diederich, Georgia (swimming).