March 28, 2011
BERKELEY - Fresh off his triumphant performances during California's run to its third NCAA team title, senior swimmer Nathan Adrian captured yet another award Monday when the Pac-10 named him one of its winter Scholar Athletes of the Year, presented by Toyo Tires®. These awards have been established to honor collegiate student-athletes that are standouts both academically and in their sports discipline.
A public health major with a 3.75 grade-point average, Adrian was one of six conference athletes who garnered Pac-10 Scholar-Athlete recognition for the 2010-11 winter season. The other five are Rihard Kuksiks (Arizona State, men's basketball, 3.00 GPA, interdisciplinary studies), Kayla Pedersen (Stanford, women's basketball, 3.53, communications/psychology), Mary Atkinson (Arizona State, women's gymnastics, 3.72, bioscience), Kelsey Ditto (Stanford, women's swimming, 3.99, political science) and Adam Hall (Boise State, wrestling, 3.50, health science).
"It is always a challenge selecting the Pac-10 Scholar-Athletes of the Year because there are so many remarkable student-athletes in our Conference," Pac-10 Commissioner Larry Scott said. "The Pac-10 is extremely proud of its heritage of academic and athletic excellence and this group of student-athletes is an example of achieving balance and success at the highest levels."
In order to be eligible for the Pac-10 Scholar-Athlete of the Year award, student-athletes must be a senior (in athletics eligibility) on track to receive a degree, have a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or higher, participate in at least 50 percent of the scheduled contests in the sport and have a minimum of one year in residence at the institution. Each Pac-10 institution may nominate one individual per sport, and the winners are selected by a committee of Pac-10 staff members at the conclusion of each sport's regular season. The athletic accomplishments of the nominees are a consideration in the voting for the award.
In the pool, Adrian claimed several laurels during the recent NCAA Championships held in Minneapolis, Minn. He won two individual and three relay crowns at NCAAs. He posted an American-, school- and pool-record time of 18.66 to win the 50-yard freestyle, which was his second in the sprint; he also won in 2009. Adrian swam to his third straight NCAA 100-yard freestyle title with a pool-record time of 41.10.
He anchored all three of Cal's winning relays at NCAAs, as the Bears repeated as the 200-medley relay champs with a pool-record time of 1:23.12, repeated as the 400-medley champs with a pool-record time of 3:02.28 and set a school record of 2:47.39 with its repeat win in the 400-yard freestyle relay. Adrian also garnered All-America distinction in the 100 butterfly with an eighth-place finish (46.20) and in the 200-free relay with a second-place finish (1:15.34).
The celebrated Adrian has collected several international accolades with the U.S. national team, capped off by the 2008 Olympic gold medal he won as part of the United States' 400-meter freestyle relay.
Through his success in the classroom, Adrian earned 2010 CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine All-Academic All-America honors and first-team Pac-10 All-Academic status from 2009-10. He also earned CoSIDA District 8 All-Academic status in 2009.
This marks his first Pac-10 Scholar-Athlete of the Year honor.
A Pac-10 Scholar-Athlete of the Year will be named in each of the conference's 22 sponsored sports: baseball, men's basketball, women's basketball, men's cross country, women's cross country, football, men's golf, women's golf, women's gymnastics, men's rowing, women's rowing, men's soccer, women's soccer, softball, men's swimming & diving, women's swimming & diving, men's tennis, women's tennis, men's track & field, women's track & field, women's volleyball, and wrestling.
Scholar-Athletes of the Year in each sport will receive a commemorative award. Toyo® will donate $1,000 to the scholarship funds of the institution's athletic department of each winner in recognition of their accomplishments.
"Toyo is proud to support the Pac-10 and to acknowledge outstanding student-athletes for their efforts," said Stan Chen, manager of events and motorsports, Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. "By supporting today's achievers, we feel we are helping to grow tomorrow's leaders."
The Pac-10 Conference, in cooperation with Pac-10 corporate partner Toyo Tires, established the "Pac-10 Scholar-Athlete of the Year Awards, presented by Toyo Tires" during the 2007-08 academic year.
Other nominees included Soana Lucet (Arizona), Dymond Simon (Arizona State), Kristi Fallin (Oregon), Kari LaPlante, (USC) and Sarah Morton (Washington) from women's basketball; Miranda Russell (Arizona), Avery Gee (Cal), Shelley Alexander (Stanford), Brittani McCullough (UCLA) and Samantha Walior (Washington) from women's gymnastics; Chris Pasanella (Arizona State) and Kevin Little (USC) from men's swimming; Katie Haron (Arizona State), Hannah Wilson, (Cal), Brittany Beauchan (UCLA), Ellie Doran (USC) and Talor Whitaker (Washington State) from women's swimming; and Elijah Nacita (Cal State Bakersfield) and Dylan Rush (Stanford) from wrestling.