March 28, 2011
WALNUT CREEK, Calif.-- Stanford seniors Kelsey Ditto (women's swimming) and Kayla Pedersen (women's basketball) were each awarded with the Pac-10 Scholar Athlete of the Year for their respective sports, according to the conference office on Monday.
Pedersen is currently with the women's basketball team in Spokane, facing Gonzaga Monday night in the Regional Final of the NCAA Tournament, while Ditto was a part of the Cardinal's fourth place NCAA finish and Pac-10 championship teams.
Pedersen enters tonight's game averaging 13.0 points, 3.5 assists and 7.8 rebounds per game, while shooting 47 percent from the field. The Wade Trophy finalist and four-time Pac-10 selection carries a 3.53 GPA as a communications and psychology major.
Ditto, who carries a 3.99 GPA as a political science major, was the Pac-10 runner up in the 1650 freestyle and was fourth in the 500 freestyle, reaching both events at the last two NCAA Championships. Stanford has won the last two Pac-10 team titles and finished second and fourth in her two seasons at Stanford after transferring from Georgia. She finished her career third all-time in the 1650 and sixth in the 500 freestyles.
In order to be eligible for the Pac-10 Scholar-Athlete of the Year award, student-athletes must be a senior (in athletics eligibility) on track to receive a degree, have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher, participate in at least 50% of the scheduled contests in the sport and have a minimum of one year in residence at the institution. Each Pac-10 institution may nominate one individual per sport, and the winners are selected by a committee of Pac-10 staff members at the conclusion of each sport’s regular season. The athletic accomplishments of the nominees are a consideration in the voting for the award.
Scholar-Athletes of the Year in each sport will receive a commemorative award. Toyo® will donate $1,000 to the scholarship funds of the institution's athletic department of each winner in recognition of their accomplishments.
Current Award Winners from the Pac-10
Rihard Kuksiks, Arizona State - Men’s basketball, 3.00 - interdisciplinary studies
Kayla Pedersen, Stanford - Women’s basketball, 3.53 - communications/psychology
Mary Atkinson, Arizona State - Women’s gymnastics, 3.72 - bioscience
Nathan Adrian, California - Men’s swimming, 3.75 - public health
Kelsey Ditto, Stanford - Women’s swimming, 3.99 - political science
Adam Hall, Boise State - Wrestling, 3.50 - health science