Former University of Kentucky swimmer Asia Seidt has been named the 2020 NCAA Woman of the Year. She is the first Kentucky Wildcat to win that honor. She was chosen from among 605 nominees across all 3 divisions of the NCAA. One of 9 finalists, Seidt was announced as the winner as part of a live virtual awards show on Friday hosted by ESPN basketball analyst Rebecca Lobo.
Seidt holds more school records in her Kentucky swimming career (9), earned more All-America honors (21), had more NCAA Championship podium finishes, SEC medals, and All-SEC First Team selections than any swimmer, male or female, in program history. She won 3 consecutive SEC titles in the 200 yard back in 2017, 2018, and 2019, and also won the 100 backstroke in 2018.
She also graduated with an unblemished 4.0 GPA with a Bachelor of Science degree in kinesiology.
After finishing her NCAA swimming career, in spite of being a high qualifier for the US Olympic Trials, Seidt announced that she would retire from swimming. She is currently attending the University of Kentucky’s Physical Therapy Graduate Program.
At the 2019 World University Games, representing the United States, she earned a silver medal in the 200 meter backstroke.
Outside of the pool, she was named the 2020 CoSIDA At-Large Academic All-America Female Team Member of the Year after earning first-team honors in 2019 and third-team honors in 2018. In 2019 she received the NCAA Elite 90 Award, presented to the student-athlete with the highest GPA competing at the NCAA Championship finals site for each sport and division.
She earned the 2020 H. Boyd McWhorter Postgraduate Scholar of the Year Award, given to an SEC graduate, and was the 2019 SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Seidt was the 2019 Arthur Ashe Jr. Female Sport Scholar of the Year and was inducted into the University of Kentucky Frank G. Ham Society of Character. Seidt volunteered for three years at Hope Center, a recovery center for alcoholism and substance abuse, and mentored a 10-year-old girl through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. She also volunteered for four years with Special Olympics Kentucky and was a four-year member of the Emerging Leaders Committee on campus.
Seidt becomes the 13th swimmer or diver to win this award since it was first given in 1991.