Kentucky swimmer Asia Seidt was named the female recipient of the 2019-20 Southeastern Conference H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete of the Year award. She joins LSU basketball player Skylar Mays as this year’s award winners, and each will receive a $20,000 postgraduate scholarship as a part of it.
After the winners were announced, SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said, “Asia and Skylar are outstanding representatives of student-athletes from across the SEC. They made a commitment to the total student-athlete experience, which resulted in their excellence in competition and in the classroom. The H. Boyd McWhorter Award is the highest honor earned by a student-athlete in the SEC and I congratulate both of them along with their families and universities on their outstanding achievements.”
Seidt, originally from Louisville, has been a key component of Kentucky’s backstroke squad over the past four years. Over that period, she has won three individual SEC championships and been named an all-American 21 times, including a 3rd place finish in the 200 backstroke at NCAAs her junior year.
She has also shown great potential on the national and international stages, winning the 2019 Phillips 66 National Championship in the 200 backstroke and earning a silver medal at the 2019 World University Games in that same event.
However, Seidt’s accomplishments span far beyond the pool. At Kentucky, she holds a 4.0 GPA while studying kinesiology. During last year’s NCAA National Championships, she was awarded the Elite 90 Award for having the highest GPA of anyone participating in the meet. Additionally, she was named the 2019 SEC Scholar Athlete of the Year for swimming and diving, and the Arthur Ashe Female Sports Scholar of the Year, which is awarded to athletes of color who excelled both on the athletic fields and in the classroom.
Mays is a pre-med/kinesiology major from Baton Rouge, La., who excels on the basketball court, being named an all-American after averaging 16.7 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.8 steals in 2020.
Additionally, he received the SEC Scholar Athlete of the Year award for basketball in both 2019 and 2020 and was named to the SEC Community Service Team.
Seidt and Mays were selected for the award by a committee of Faculty Athletics Representatives. There were twenty eight athletes nominated in all, including 14 from each gender.
The other finalists for the award were:
Male finalists: Zane Waddell, Alabama (Swimming & Diving); William Schilleci, Auburn (Baseball); Kirby McMullen, Florida (Baseball); Rodrigo Blankenship, Georgia (Football); Glen Brown, Kentucky (Swimming and Diving); Andrew Raspo, Ole Miss (Track & Field); John Mitchell Storm, Mississippi State (Basketball); Connor Flynn, Missouri (Wrestling); William Riggs, South Carolina (Swimming & Diving); Nicholas Mascia, Tennessee (Baseball); Benjamin Walker, Texas A&M (Swimming & Diving); Caleb Peart, Vanderbilt (Football).
Female finalists: Bailey Hemphill, Alabama (Softball); Tamara Kukendall, Arkansas (Track & Field); Bailey Nero, Auburn (Swimming & Diving); Victoria Bindi, Florida (Swimming & Diving); Eleni Christofi, Georgia (Tennis); Anna Zwiebel, LSU (Volleyball); Emily Stroup, Ole Miss (Volleyball); MaKayla Waldner, Mississippi State (Soccer); Jordan Roundtree, Missouri (Basketball); Mikayla Shields, South Carolina (Volleyball); Aubrey Leach, Tennessee (Softball); Raena Eldridge, Texas A&M (Swimming & Diving); Kendall Derry, Vanderbilt (Track & Field).
Other swimmers/divers to have previously received this award include: Virginia Diederich, Georgia (1986), Linda Leith, Georgia (1988), Deanne Burnett, Georgia, (1989), Martin Nyberg, LSU (1996), Andrew DeVooght, Georgia (1997), Kim Black, Georgia (2001), Caesar Garcia, Auburn (2004), Lauryn McCalley, Tennessee (2005), Kristen Hastrup, Auburn (2008), Christine Magnuson, Tennessee (2009), Jordan Anderson, Auburn (2010), Dan Mazzaferro, Auburn (2011), Erica Meissner, Auburn (2011), Wendy Trott, Georgia (2012), Shannon Vreeland, Georgia (2014), Maddie Locus, Georgia(2015), Anton McKee, Alabama (2017), Sarah Gibson, Texas A&M (2017).