Melanie Walsh Wins Elite 89 Award for NCAA Division III Women’s Golf Championship
St. Louis, Mo., May 14, 2013 – Washington University in St. Louis senior Melanie Walsh was the recipient of the Elite 89 Award for the 2013 NCAA Division III Women’s Golf Championship. Walsh received the honor Monday night at the 2013 NCAA Division III Women’s Golf Championship banquet in Destin, Fla.
The Elite 89, an award founded by the NCAA, recognizes the true essence of the student-athlete by honoring the individual who has reached the pinnacle of competition at the national championship level in his or her sport, while also achieving the highest academic standard among his or her peers. The Elite 89 is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA’s championships.
Walsh, who also received the honor at the 2011 NCAA Championship, is the second student-athlete in school history to earn multiple Elite 89 awards. Elizabeth Phillips won the award in 2010 (Indoor Track, Cross Country) and 2011 (Cross Country). Washington University has an NCAA Division III leading eight since the program’s inception in 2009-10.
“I'm just really appreciative of the Division III student-athlete experience. To be able to pursue my education at a high level and get to play golf with the best teammates in the world is an opportunity that I will be forever grateful for,” said Walsh. “I think Washington University, in particular, fosters this experience so well, because there is a real cooperation between professors and coaches–a mutual understanding of the demands of the student-athlete and a willingness to make that experience as well-rounded and special as possible.”
Walsh, an English major with a 3.98 GPA, has seen action in eight tournaments this season and is fifth on the team and 201st in NCAA Division III with an 85.44 average. She recorded a season-best 13th-place finish at the Washington University Spring Invitational (4/6-4/7) after firing a two-day total of 161 (79-82). Walsh has recorded a 90 or lower in 15 of 16 rounds this season.
The Washington University women’s golf team opens play Tuesday at Noon, for its opening round in the 2013 NCAA Division III Championship at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Destin, Fla. Washington University is in its fifth season as a varsity sport and is ranked No. 4 in the Golf World/National Golf Coaches Association (NGCA) women's coaches' poll.
Eligible student-athletes for the Elite 89 Award are sophomores or above who have participated in their sport for at least two years with their school. They must be an active member of the team, traveling and a designated member of the squad size at the championship. The number of credits completed breaks all ties.
For more information on the Elite 89 award winners, log on to NCAA.com/elite89.