Campus News

Asia Seidt Named 2020 NCAA Woman of the Year

Photo provided by UK Athletics
Photo provided by UK Athletics

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 17, 2019) — The high-achieving University of Kentucky alumna swimmer who has made headlines all fall reached the pinnacle of her athletic career last week, as Asia Seidt was named the 2020 NCAA Woman of the Year. Selected from more than 600 candidates, the announcement was made during a live virtual award show Friday, Nov. 13, hosted by ESPN basketball analyst Rebecca Lobo.  

The prestigious honor marks UK Athletics’ first NCAA Woman of the Year winner.  

Of all swimmers and divers — male or female — who have ever come through the Kentucky swimming and diving program, Seidt holds the most records. Seidt has earned more All-America honors, NCAA Championship podium finishes, Southeastern Conference Championship medals and All-SEC First Team selections than any UK swimmer or diver, man or woman, who has come before her.   

Meanwhile, Seidt maintained a 4.0 cumulative grade-point average and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in kinesiology with the highest honors in May. She is currently attending UK’s physical therapy graduate program. 

In her (nearly four) years at Kentucky, the Louisville native has earned 21 All-America honors, 15 SEC Championship medals, eight NCAA Championship podium finishes, four conference titles, one USA Swimming Summer Nationals gold medal and one World University Games silver medal.  

Seidt holds five individual school records, was twice named to the USA Swimming National Team, twice qualified for Team USA Olympic Trials, was three times named to the All-SEC First Team, is the 2019 ELITE 90 recipient, the 2019 Arthur Ashe Female Sports Scholar of the Year, the 2020 SEC H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete of the Year and the 2020 CoSIDA At-Large Scholar-Athlete of the Year. 

One week ahead of the canceled 2020 NCAA Championships, Seidt had three individual events ranked in the nation’s top seven, with her best event, the 200 backstroke, listing third in the nation with a seed time (1:48.86, 2020 SEC Championships) that wasn’t even her career best (1:48.65, 2019 NCAA Championships). 

NCAA Woman of the Year Selection Process 

Nine former college athletes were selected as finalists for the 2020 NCAA Woman of the Year award, including Seidt. The nine finalists, three women from each NCAA division, were selected for their outstanding achievements in academics, athletics, community service and leadership. 

Finalists were chosen from the Top 30 NCAA Woman of the Year honorees, who represent 10 honorees from each division and 14 sports, including two emerging sports. In 2020, schools nominated 605 graduating female student-athletes for this prestigious award. 

A list of her accomplishments is as follows: 

  • 2020 NCAA Woman of the Year 
  • 4.0 GPA, B.S. in kinesiology 
  • 2020 SEC H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete of the Year 
  • 2020 CoSIDA At-Large Female Student-Athlete of the Year 
  • 2016, 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials qualifier  
  • 21-time All-American, including eight-time First Team All-American 
  • 2019 Gold Medalist at Phillips 66 National Championships in 200 Backstroke 
  • 2019 Silver Medalist at Phillips 66 National Championships in 400 Medley Relay 
  • 2019 Silver Medalist at World University Games (Team USA) in 200 Backstroke 
  • 2019 NCAA Elite 90 recipient 
  • 2019 Arthur Ashe Female Sports Scholar of the Year 
  • 2019 Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars First Team 
  • 2019 SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year 
  • 2017-18, 2018-19 USA Swimming National Team 
  • 2018, 2019 U.S. World University Games Team 
  • 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 NCAA qualifier 
  • 2017, 2018, 2019 All-SEC First Team, 2020 All-SEC Second Team, 2017 SEC All-Freshman Team 
  • 2017, 2018, 2019 SEC Champion in 200 Backstroke 
  • 2018 SEC Champion in 100 Backstroke 
  • Five-time silver medalist at SEC Championships 
  • Six-time bronze medalist at SEC Championships 
  • 2020 Frank G. Ham Society of Character 
  • 2017 SEC Freshman Female Swimmer of the Year 
  • 2019, 2020 CoSIDA Academic All-America First Team 
  • 2018, 2019, 2020 CoSIDA Academic All-District First Team 
  • 2018, 2019, 2020 SEC Winter Academic Honor Roll 
  • 2017 SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll 
  • 2017, 2018, 2019 CSCAA Scholar All-America First Team 
  • Volunteered over 450 hours of professional shadowing 
  • Volunteered over 200 hours to community service, including The Hope Center, Kentucky Aquatics and Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bluegrass 

For the latest on the Kentucky swimming and diving program, follow @UKSwimDive on Twitter and on Instagram, on Facebook and on the web at UKathletics.com.  

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