Senior Katja Claesson (Fullerton, CA / Troy High School) of the Wagner swimming and diving team has been named 2016-17 Northeast Conference (NEC) Swimming And Diving Co-Scholar-Athlete Of The Year, sharing the distinction with Central Connecticut’s Maddy Garber, the league office announced Thursday.
In addition to being one of the most decorated Seahawk swimmers of all time, Claesson also holds a 3.87 GPA as a Biopsychology major.
“We are so proud of Katja for this great honor,” said head coach Colin Shannahan. “Her fierce and competitive mindset, paired with a strong work ethic, have led to success in and out of the pool.”
Since 2005-06, Claesson becomes just the third Seahawk swimmer to earn this accolade, joining former Seahawk greats, Amanda Lucia, who was named the 2014-15 Scholar-Athlete of the Year, and Jessica Hart, who won back-to-back awards in 2008-09 & 2009-10.
“Katja has been a fantastic representative of our department throughout her career as a student-athlete here at Wagner,” said associate athletic director and senior women’s administrator Tatum Colitz.” Over the past four years, her achievements in the classroom and in the pool have been a pleasure to watch. We are excited to see her succeed in the future and are thrilled that she will continue her journey nearby at Columbia University this fall to pursue her doctorate of physical therapy.”
In her final season as a Seahawk, Claesson took home a gold medal at the 2017 NEC Championships as part of the 200 Medley Relay team. In individual competition, she earned a silver medal in the 200 Breastroke while setting a school record in the event and also picked up a bronze medal in the 100 Breaststroke.
Claesson is the Wagner record-holder in both the 100 Breast (1:02.81), 200 Breast (1:40.73), the 200 & 400 Medley Relay and represented the Green & White at the 2015 AT&T Winter Nationals.
Men’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete: Georgios Angelou – Saint Francis U
Women’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete: Anna Niki Stamolamprou – Robert Morris
Women’s Bowling Scholar-Athlete: Melanie Hannon – Fairleigh Dickinson
Men’s Indoor Track & Field Scholar-Athlete: Bryce England – Saint Francis U
Women’s Indoor Track & Field Scholar-Athlete: Annais Cummiskey – St. Francis Brooklyn
Women’s Swimming & Diving Scholar-Athlete: Katja Claesson – Wagner, Maddy Garber – Central Connecticut
About the Northeast Conference
Entering its 36th year, the Northeast Conference is an NCAA Division I collegiate athletic association consisting of 10 institutions of higher learning located throughout six states. Media coverage of the NEC extends to four of the largest markets in the United States – New York (#1), Pittsburgh (#23), Baltimore (#27), and Hartford/New Haven (#30). Founded in 1981 as the basketball-only ECAC Metro Conference, the NEC has grown to sponsor 22 championship sports for men and women and now enjoys automatic access to 14 different NCAA Championships. NEC member institutions include Bryant, Central Connecticut, Fairleigh Dickinson, LIU Brooklyn, Mount St. Mary’s, Robert Morris, Sacred Heart, St. Francis Brooklyn, Saint Francis U., and Wagner. Duquesne is an associate member of the NEC in the sport of football. For more information on the NEC, visit the league’s official website (www.northeastconference.org) and digital network (www.necfrontrow.com), or follow the league on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Google+, all @NECsports.