Top of Her Game
Cecil, featured in the NCAA Champion Magazine
A week after being named the Atlantic South Region Arthur Ashe Jr. for Leadership and Sportsmanship Honoree by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA), Carnegie Mellon University women's tennis junior Katie Cecil (MCS'14) received national recognition.
Cecil was awarded the NCAA Division III national ITA Arthur Ashe Jr. Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship. Cecil also was the recipient of the Elite 89 Award for the 2013 NCAA Division III Women's Tennis Championship.
"Katie is arguably the most exceptionally well-rounded student-athlete I have ever coached," said women's tennis coach Andy Girard. "This season alone she has been a tremendous force on the court for us, playing at the top spots in singles and doubles for a team that reached the third round of the NCAA Team Championship."
The Elite 89, an award founded by the NCAA, recognizes the true essence of the student-athlete by honoring the individual who has reached the pinnacle of competition at the national championship level in his or her sport, while also achieving the highest academic standard among his or her peers.
The Elite 89 is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA's championships.
Eligible student-athletes for the Elite 89 Award are sophomores or above who have participated in their sport for at least two years with their school. They must be an active member of the team, traveling and a designated member of the squad size at the championship. The number of credits completed breaks all ties.
A 2013 College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-District Women's At-Large Team selection, Cecil becomes the first student-athlete in school history to earn the Elite 89 Award while the second to receive the national ITA Arthur Ashe Jr. Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship.
Cecil, a neuroscience major, carries a perfect 4.00 GPA. Off the court, she is a member of the CMU Student-Athletic Advisory Council. This past fall she volunteered for the Light's On Afterschool and Ten Thousand Villages projects. During her work with the Light's On project, she interacted with youth to teach the benefit of afterschool activities. She supported one of the world's oldest and largest fair trade organizations through the Ten Thousand Villages program.
Cecil led a service project with the tennis team in April, as the Tartans volunteered their time at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. She also spent time working with the St. Bernard Rebuilding Project by helping to build houses in New Orleans as part of Hurricane Katrina Relief in 2010.
As a player, Cecil has been successful on the court, winning 35 singles matches and 36 doubles matches during her two-year career with the Tartans after transferring from Tulane University. A year ago, she was named National Player to Watch by the ITA after earning All-America accolades her first season in Pittsburgh.
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Learn more about Cecil’s secret weapon on the court: http://www.carnegiemellontoday.com/article.asp?aid=1314.