Press Release courtesy of the Pac-12
USC senior Pawel Furtek was named the Pac-12 Men’s Swimming and Diving Scholar-Athlete of the Year for the 2017-18 season, the Conference office announced on Tuesday. The award, which is presented in each of the 24 sports the Pac-12 sponsors, was established to honor collegiate student-athletes who are standouts both academically and in their sports discipline.
Furtek is a computer engineering & computer science major who boasts a 3.92 grade-point average and has been a mark of consistency for the Trojans over the course of his career. The Polish National Team member from Wroclaw, Poland has recorded five career top-six finishes at the Pac-12 Championships as well as two trips to the NCAA Championships, including honorable mention All-America status in the 1,650-yard freestyle in 2016. The distance freestyler is among USC’s all-time top 10 in the 1,000- and 1,650-yard free.
He is also one of USC’s top students in the classroom, earning CoSIDA Academic All-District 8 At-Large Team accolades as a junior in 2017. He’s also a two-time Pac-12 All-Academic First Team honoree (2016, 2017) and three-time CSCAA Scholar All-American with first-team laurels in 2016 and honorable mention recognition in 2015 and 2017.
Furtek is one of Europe’s top young distance swimmers and represented Poland at the 2015 European Championships. Furtek won gold in the 800-meter free and silver in the 1,500 free at the 2013 European Junior Swimming Championships. He competed in both at the 2013 World Championships, finishing 14th in the 1,500 free and 21st in the 800 free. He was third in the 1,500 free at the 2013 World Juniors.
Furtek and the Trojans will compete from Feb. 28 – March 4 at the Pac-12 Men’s Swimming Championships in Federal Way, Wash. Tickets to attend the event can be purchased here.
In order to be eligible for the Pac-12 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-12 institution may nominate one individual per sport, and the winners are selected by a committee of Pac-12 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.
A Scholar-Athlete of the Year will be named in each of the Pac-12’s 24 sponsored sports: baseball, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, beach volleyball, men’s cross country, women’s cross country, football, men’s golf, women’s golf, women’s gymnastics, women’s lacrosse, 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.
ALSO NOMINATED: Riccardo Maestri, ARIZ; Patrick Park, ASU; Mattew Josa, CAL; Tarek Abdelghany, STAN; Ben Scott, UTAH.