CLEVELAND, Ohio – Junior Molly McNamara of the Cleveland State University women's swimming & diving team was named the Horizon League's Female Scholar-Athlete of the 2017-18 Winter Season the League office announced Thursday afternoon.
This award is arguably the most prestigious to date for McNamara, who has amassed an impressive slate of achievements and honors thus far as a Viking. Student-athletes from the sports of basketball, swimming & diving and indoor track & field are eligible for the League's Winter Scholar-Athlete honor.
McNamara owns a 3.95 grade point average as a health sciences (pre-med) major. She has earned a spot on the Dean's List in each semester at CSU thus far.
McNamara capped her junior season by earning the League's highest athletic honor in her sport as she was voted Horizon League Women's Swimming & Diving Athlete of the Year. She became just the second Viking ever to win that honor and the first in over a decade.
McNamara won two individual titles at the 2018 Horizon League Championships, both in NCAA qualifying times. She broke the Horizon League record in the 200 butterfly (1:57.69) while becoming the first Viking woman to win that event more than once. Her time in that event was nearly two seconds under the NCAA 'B' standard and put her nearly five seconds ahead of the runner-up.
McNamara's effort in the 200 fly was her final event of the Championships and concluded a four-day stretch in which she broke five school records at the meet. She reset program standards in all three of her individual events and also helped two relay squads break school records.
McNamara broke the pool record in winning the 100 butterfly (53.27 seconds) at the League meet and posted the fastest splits in the race on the third leg of both relays she swam.
McNamara became just the third woman this century to sweep the butterfly titles at a Horizon League Championship. She is also the first Viking female swimmer to ever achieve that feat.
McNamara earned a League-high five Women's Swimmer of the Week honors during the past season and also gathered four such awards from CollegeSwimming.
With a boost from McNamara, Cleveland State took third place at the League meet with 586 points. It was a two-place improvement from the prior season and the highest point total at the League meet for CSU since 2013. The Vikings were only seven points out of the runner-up position.
The Horizon League recognizes student-athletes at the conclusion of each of its three athletic seasons. To be eligible for Scholar-Athlete of the Season consideration, a student-athlete must have a cumulative grade-point-average of 3.20 or higher (based on a 4.00 scale) and have completed at least one year at the current school. Student-athletes are honored on a combination of athletic performance and academic achievement.