Anderson, Sawyer Awarded UMW Scholar-Athletes of the Year

University of Mary Washington senior swimmers Justin Anderson and Nina Michelle Sawyer were named as the 20th annual University of Mary Washington Male and Female Scholar-Athletes of the Year, announced on Wednesday at the UMW Athletics Banquet.

Anderson, an English major from Oak Hill, Va., holds a 3.66 overall grade-point average. In his swimming career, he won all-conference honors 22 times, including on two relays that qualified provisionally for the NCAA Championships this winter. The Capital Athletic Conference champion in the 200 yard individual medley, he holds the fastest 100 yard freestyle cut in school history. 

Academically, Anderson has won the prestigious Mary Siegrist Hinz scholarship three straight semesters and is a reigning NCAA Academic All-American. He is president of the Alpha Phi Sigma honor society at UMW, and has been on the Dean's List every semester but two in his academic career at UMW.

Said UMW Swimming Coach Matt Sellman, "Justin embodies what a student athlete should be at UMW (and anywhere, for that matter). He holds himself and his teammates to the highest standard, and does not fail to succeed. He has the characteristics of a leader and uses them well; he acts with the best of intentions and helps others do the same. He is an incredible worker and sets a standard that others should and do strive to meet."

Sawyer, a psychology major from Warrenton, Va., has posted a 3.30 GPA. In the pool, Sawyer has won eight All-America awards in her career, including five this winter. She has gained all-conference accolades in 27 events in her career, including seven this year. She swam in five relays and three individual events at the NCAA Division III Championships in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

In the classroom, Sawyer gained Academic All-America honors twice, becoming only the third UMW swimmer to accomplish that feat. She has studied abroad in Australia and remained in top condition for swimming, and has also volunteered time at local businesses, schools, and homes to work with Autistic children.

Added Sellman, "Nina is the most special student athlete I have ever had the opportunity to coach. She is the most caring, thoughtful, and passionate teammate I have seen. She deserves this honor and recognition for being the perfect example of what a student athlete is."