February 24, 2014

Six WUSTL Student-Athletes Named UAA Athletes of the Week

St. Louis, Mo., Feb. 24, 2014 – Six student-athletes from Washington University in St. Louis were selected as the University Athletic Association (UAA) Athletes of the Week for their respective sports, as announced Monday by the conference office.

Junior Nick Alaniva of the men’s indoor track & field team, freshman Jeremy Bush of the No. 4-ranked men’s tennis team, freshman Andrew Ellison of the No. 13 men’s swimming & diving team, junior Melissa Gilkey of the No. 5 women’s basketball team, senior Chi Pham of the No. 6 women’s swimming & diving team, and junior Claire Simons of the No. 19 women’s indoor track & field team each received the honor.

Alaniva was named the UAA Men’s Indoor Track Athlete of the Week for the first time this season and second time in his career. He broke a 26-year-old Washington University school record to win the 60-meter dash at Washington U.’s dual meet at Illinois Wesleyan University Saturday. Alaniva set the record with a time of 7.03, which was .01 better than Marvin Williams' previous record set in 1988. Alaniva also posted the second-best mark in school history to win the pole vault. His clearance of 4.76 meters ranks 11th in NCAA Division III this season. He added a runner-up finish in the long jump with a season-best mark of 6.53m.

Bush received UAA Men’s Tennis Athlete of the Week honors for the second time this season after posting a 6-0 combined record to lead Washington U. to its first-ever ITA National Men's Tennis Indoor Championship in Cleveland. He won all three of his matches at No. 3 singles in straight sets, including a 7-5, 6-3 win over No. 15-ranked Ben Hwang of Johns Hopkins University in the national championship match. Bush also teamed with junior Ross Putterman for three wins at No. 1 doubles. The duo posted an 8-5 win over the No. 5-ranked doubles team from Johns Hopkins in the final.

Ellison was selected as the UAA Men’s Swimming Athlete of the Week for the first time in his career. He clocked a season-best time of 15:48.96 to win the men's 1,650 freestyle at the Midwest Invitational hosted by the University of Chicago Friday-Saturday. Ellison's B-cut time was nearly a half-second better than his previous best set the week before at the UAA Championships.

Gilkey earned UAA Women’s Basketball Athlete of the Week accolades for the third time this season and sixth time in her career. She averaged 21 points and shot .652 from the field in a pair of wins that clinched the 2014 UAA Championship for Washington University. Gilkey recorded her eighth double-double of the season with 24 points and 14 rebounds, one shy of her career-high, in 28 minutes against Case Western Reserve University Friday. She followed that with 18 points, three rebounds and three blocks against Carnegie Mellon University Sunday. Gilkey moved up to ninth on the Bears' all-time scoring list (1,121), sixth on the career blocks list (94) and eighth on the career rebounding list (599) over the weekend.

Pham garnered UAA Women’s Swimming Athlete of the Week recognition for the first time this season and fourth time in her career. She bettered her season-best in the women's 200 individual medley by more than a half-second to finish first in the event at the Midwest Invitational hosted by the University of Chicago Friday-Saturday. Pham clocked a B-cut time of 2:05.42 to win the race.

Simons was named the UAA Women’s Indoor Field Athlete of the Week after clearing a career-best height of 3.74m to finish second in the pole vault at Washington U.'s dual meet at Illinois Wesleyan Saturday. The mark for Simons was 18 centimeters above her previous career-best, and ranks third in school history. It also puts her eighth on this season's NCAA Division III leaderboard.