Seniors Sara Neil and Phillip Link win NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships

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Sewanee senior student-athletes Sara Neil and Phillip Link have been awarded NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships. The scholarships are awarded to student-athletes who excel academically and athletically and who are in their final year of intercollegiate athletic competition.

A three-time Academic All-American and All-Conference Academic honoree, Neil has compiled a 3.93 cumulative GPA as a biochemistry major. She is member of the Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society, the Alpha Epsilon Delta National Medical Society, and the Order of Gownsmen. Additionally, Neil serves as the treasurer of the Theta Pi Sorority and on the Student Alumni Leadership Council.

Neil was recently accepted to the College of Pharmacy at the University of Tennessee, where she will begin in the fall of 2013.

In the pool, Neil leaves Sewanee as a six-time school and Southern Athletic Association (SAA) record holder. Over her career, Neil was a 13-time All-Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) selection and a 2012-13 All-SAA first-team honoree.

"Receiving this prestigious award is an honor not only for me, but for the swim team and the school," said Neil. "However, this accomplishment would not be possible without the help and support of my family, friends, teammates, coaches, and professors during the past four years. Phillip and I are truly honored to join such an elite group of alumni as Sewanee's 28th and 29th NCAA Postgraduate Scholars."

A two-time Academic All-American and three-time All-SCAC Academic selection, Link has compiled a 3.49 cumulative GPA as a biochemistry major. He also serves as the president of Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society and as the vice president of Alpha Epsilon Delta National Medical Society. Link is a member of the Order of Gownsmen, a Presidential Scholar, and serves as the treasurer of the Chi Psi Fraternity.

After he graduates from the University of the South, Link plans to enroll in medical school.

In the pool, Link holds three school and SAA records and was an eight-time All-SCAC selection. This past season, Link led Sewanee to a second-place finish at the 2013 SAA Championships and was a first-team All-SAA honoree. A four-time qualifier for the NCAA Championships, Link earned NCAA All-American honors in the men's 100 and 200 Breaststroke events in 2011-12.

"I'm extremely honored to be awarded this scholarship and I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the help and support I have received from my coaches, teammates, and professors," said Link. "The fact that both Sara and I received this honor is a testament to the strength of the University's swimming and diving program."

Under head coach Max Obermiller, five Tigers have been awarded NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships as part of the swimming and diving team.

"I feel that these two student-athletes have influenced our men and women's programs far beyond what we might normally see from even gifted student-athletes," said Obermiller. "To balance their rigorous biochemistry majors and put the hours in the pool to achieve national caliber times is rare. To do this while encouraging their fellow student-athletes and bringing the love of the sport into sharp focus on a daily basis is truly inspiring. The University of the South continues to be a special place where the true student-athlete can achieve excellence in both the academic and athletic realms."

With 29 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship recipients, Sewanee ranks among the nation's leading institutions in any NCAA division. Created in 1964, the scholarships promote and encourage education by rewarding the Association's most accomplished student-athletes. Neil and Link will each receive $7,500 from the NCAA, which makes awards to 87 women and 87 men annually.

For the full story, please visit the Sewanee Athletics website.

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Dr. William S. Stoney, C’50, at the Friends of the Library
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