FGCU’s Svensson Named as CCSA Woman of the Year Nominee
By Danny Hunt
INDIANAPOLIS – After a historic career at FGCU, swimming & diving program record-holder Emma Svensson will serve as the Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association’s (CCSA) nominee for the NCAA Woman of the Year award.
A record 147 NCAA female student-athletes have been named 2015 Woman of the Year honorees by conferences and independent schools.
These honorees, selected from the record 480 school nominees, represent college athletes from 18 different sports spanning all three NCAA divisions. Of those recognized, 57 honorees competed in Division I, 39 competed in Division II and 51 competed in Division III.
The Woman of the Year selection committee will next select the top 10 honorees in each division. These top 30 honorees will be announced in early September. The selection committee will then choose and announce the top nine finalists (three from each division) at the end of September. The NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics will vote from amongst those nine finalists to determine the 2015 Woman of the Year.
The top 30 honorees will be honored and the 2015 NCAA Woman of the Year will be named at the annual ceremony in Indianapolis on Oct. 18.
Now in its 25th year, the NCAA Woman of the Year award recognizes graduating female student-athletes for excellence in academics, athletics, community service and leadership.
“Emma has been a leader of our program by example and as the team-voted captain,” said head coach Neal Studd. “This is another great recognition for her to be honored as one of the top 60 female student-athletes in the country. She has been a leader in the classroom, pool, community and campus. She will be remembered as the most successful swimmer in FGCU history and one of the NCAA’s great student-athletes – a true female success story on every level. I have never come across a person who is more humble, selfless and a down-right nice person than Emma.”
In 2012, FGCU’s Courtney Chihil (Tipp City, Ohio/Alter HS) was announced as the Atlantic Sun NCAA Woman of the Year Nominee after her tremendous four-year career with the women’s basketball program. She is FGCU’s only previous NCAA Woman of the Year nominee to reach this round of the selection process.
Svensson (Upsala, Sweden/Celsiusskolan), who was inducted into the FGCU Hall of Fame, graduated in May with a 3.89 GPA as an economics major and an honors student at the same time. She set multiple program records in the swimming pool, and was a co-recipient of the prestigious Eagle Scholar-Athlete Award this past year.
The Swede became the captain of the FGCU swim team in 2013 and was a mainstay on FGCU’s President List for the last four years. Svensson was a research assistant for the FGCU Honors Program last year while having a concentration on the Eurozone crisis and finding business applications of calculus and behavioral economics. The mathematics minor spent her time volunteering in the community through the FGCU Actuarial Science Club, Hope for Haiti and Mesina Children’s Hospital.
As a freshman in 2011-12, Svensson became the first Eagles’ swimmer to qualify for the NCAA Championships. She was named a Mid-Major All-American and earned CCSA All-Conference honors in addition to being honored as CCSA’s Most Outstanding Female Freshman Performer of the Championship Meet.
Her dominance continued throughout her sophomore campaign as she was selected as the NCAA Elite 89 Award Winner, again qualifying for the NCAA Championships while maintaining a 4.0 GPA and also notched her first CCSA Swimmer of the Year award.
She followed the impressive performance with a 2013-14 that saw her receive College Swimming Coaches Association of America Honorable Mention All-America and set six FGCU program records: two individually; 50 free (22.09), 100 free (49.13) and four as a member of a relay team; 200 free (1:30.24), 400 free (3:20.13), 200 medley (1:38.63), 400 medley (3:40.69). Her performances in the 50 free and 400 free relays also set CCSA records. At the NCAA Championships, she scored FGCU points for the first time in program history, placing 12th in the 50-yard freestyle with a 22.33 time.
This past season, the Swedish standout continued her spree of shattering records at the 2015 CCSA Championship meet, breaking her own mark in the 50 free with a CCSA and FGCU-program record time of 21.98. She was named CCSA Women’s Most Outstanding Swimmer of the Championship Meet. At the NCAA Championships, she scored FGCU’s first points at the meet, placing 12th in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 22.12. Svensson also helped the Eagles earn their first ever points in a relay event when the 200-yard relay team touched the pads in a time of 1:37.55 to finish eighth. Svensson helped the Eagles finish a program-best 26th in the nation.
Florida Swim Network