Cecil Earns Prestigious NCAA Elite 89 Award for Second Time

(CLAREMONT, Calif.) - Carnegie Mellon University women's tennis senior Katie Cecil (Huntington Beach, Calif./Ocean View) was honored for the second time as the winner of the NCAA Elite 89 Award for women's tennis at the 2014 NCAA Division III Men's and Women's Tennis Championship banquet Sunday evening in Claremont, California.

Cecil earned the honor for achieving a 4.0 GPA during her college career, majoring in biological sciences with a neuroscience tract. She will be working at the Cleveland Clinic doing stroke research for the neurological institute. The senior also received the award as a junior when she became the first student-athlete in school history to collect the honor.

"Excellence in the classroom is something in which our tennis program places tremendous value," head coach Andrew Girard said. "To achieve a 4.0 is extremely impressive by itself. To achieve a 4.0 and do all of the amazing things that Katie has done outside of class in areas like tennis and research, well that is rare and special indeed."

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 89 championships.

All GPAs are based on a straight grading scale to ensure consistency among institutions. All ties are broken by the number of credits completed.

Eligible student-athletes are sophomores or above who have participated in their sports for at least two years with their schools. They must be an active member of the team, traveling and competing at the championship.