Olympic gold medalist and former Blue Valley West swimmer Shannon Vreeland was chosen as the Southeastern Conference’s female scholar-athlete of the year on Tuesday.
Vreeland, who swims for Georgia and helped lead the Bulldogs to their second straight NCAA championship this season, will receive a $15,000 post-graduate scholarship. Alabama golfer Cory Whitsett was the men’s winner.
“Cory and Shannon demonstrate a commitment to excellence that makes them the ideal choices for the H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Award,” SEC commissioner Mike Slive said in a release. “This is the SEC’s most prestigious award and they deserve this honor because of their hard work that allows them to excel at the highest level in their sport and in the classroom. I congratulate them as outstanding representatives of their respective institutions and the SEC.”
Also this year, Vreeland won the Kansas City Sports Commission’s sportswoman of the year award. In addition to swimming for Georgia, she won gold as part of the U.S. 800-meter freestyle relay at the 2012 London Games. She also helped the U.S. 400-meter freestyle relay team win at the 2013 World Championships. She is a double major in economics and international affairs.
Missouri cross country runner Max Storms and soccer player Alyssa Diggs were the Tigers’ top scholar-athletes.