Finishing up a story book career as an East Texas Baptist University softball player, Lya Swaner earned another prestigious award for academics. Swaner has been named a Capitol One CoSIDA Academic All-American by the NCAA Division III sports information directors as a third-team member. This is the third year in a row that ETBU has had an academic all-American.
"Being named a CoSIDA Academic All-American is such an honor for a player because you are amongst an elite group of athletes being award for your academics and your play," says ETBU Director of Sports Information Adam P. Ledyard. "This award puts her as one of the top student-athletes in the nation for NCAA Division III. ETBU will definitely miss her leadership and attitude as she was a special athlete to have around."
Swaner is one of 36 NCAA Division III softball players named an academic All-American from all the NCAA Division III softball student-athletes. The NCAA Division III has over 400 softball programs and thousands softball players.
Swaner is the second softball player in three years to receive this award for ETBU as Ashton Brey received the award twice as a second-team member in 2011 and 2012. Swaner has had an elite career at ETBU playing in over 170 games and winning a national championship, a regional championship, a divisional championship, and two American Southwest Conference tournament championships. She was named the 2013 ASC Tournament MVP and voted onto the ASC East second-team for her play. She also received ETBU's top athletic award being named the Top Tiger at this year's athletic banquet.
The double major in biology and chemistry graduated at the beginning of May as an honor's student with a 3.85 grade point average. Her plans are to attend medical school and to become a doctor.
Swaner helped ETBU to the program's seventh ASC Tournament championship this year in Farmer's Branch, Texas, batting .500. It was the second championship won in three years for ETBU. She then was a part of ETBU's run at the NCAA Division III regional tournament where they went 3-2 falling in the regional championship game. She finishes her career third all-time in games played (179) and is fifth in stolen bases (51).
To be eligible for Academic All-America® consideration, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative G.P.A. of 3.30 on a scale of 4.00, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standings at his/her current institution and be nominated by his/her sports information director. The Capital One Division III Academic All-America® program is being financially supported by the NCAA Division III national governance structures, to assist CoSIDA with handling the awards fulfillment aspects for the 2012-13 and Division III Academic All-America® teams program.