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NCAA names 2019 Today’s Top 10 Honorees

Outstanding former student-athletes to be recognized at 2019 Convention

In January, 10 exceptional former student-athletes will be honored as the 2019 Today’s Top 10 Award winners at the NCAA Convention.

The award recognizes former student-athletes for their successes on the field, in the classroom and in the community. Recipients completed their athletics eligibility during the 2017-18 academic year and will be recognized at the Honors Celebration on Wednesday, Jan. 23, in Orlando, Florida.

The honorees are selected by the NCAA Honors Committee, composed of representatives of NCAA member schools, conferences and distinguished citizens, including past awardees.

The following former student-athletes are the 2019 Today’s Top 10 awardees:

Ama Biney

School: Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Major: Management Engineering
Sports: Women’s Basketball, Softball

Ama Biney was a dual-sport athlete at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, competing in women’s basketball and softball. In softball, the team co-captain was the 2018 New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference Athlete of the Year and a 2018 National Fastpitch Coaches Association first-team All-American. In basketball, Biney was the NEWMAC’s 2018 Co-Athlete of the Year. Biney was also named the NEWMAC Defensive Player of the Year in both 2017 and 2018. In 2016, she helped the Engineers to NEWMAC tournament titles in both basketball and softball. Biney also led WPI softball to a pair of NCAA Division III Softball Championship regional titles in 2015 and 2016 and aided WPI women’s basketball to a Division III women’s basketball tournament appearance in 2016. Biney also excelled in the classroom. She earned College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-America honors for softball in 2016 and 2018 and NEWMAC Academic All-Conference honors throughout her career at WPI.  Biney led through her involvement on campus and engagement within the community. For four years, she was a volunteer mentor with Big Brother Big Sisters of America. Additionally, she volunteered monthly with Girls Inc., belonged to several student organizations and served as a WPI camp counselor. In both 2017 and 2018, WPI recognized Biney’s leadership with the Crimson and Gray Award, given to students who demonstrate outstanding leadership abilities and make significant contributions to improve the quality of student life at the university. 

Andrea Bryson

School: St. Cloud State
Major: Chemistry
Sport: Women’s Swimming and Diving

Andrea Bryson, who swam for four years at Division II St. Cloud State, graduated in 2018. After strong showings at the NCAA championships, she earned All-America honors in 2017 and 2018. During her time with the Huskies, she won eight event titles in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference and New South Intercollegiate Swim Conference championship meets. She rounded out her career with 2018 NSIC individual titles in the 50-yard freestyle, 100 freestyle, 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle events. Bryson was named both the 2018 NSIC Swimmer of the Meet and overall NSIC Swimmer of the Year for her outstanding performances. The same year, she also set conference records in the 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle events. Bryson was a College Swimming Coaches Association of America Scholar All-American for four straight years. In 2018, she earned College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-America At-Large honors. During the 2014-15 academic year, she was named Freshman Chemistry Student of the Year. As a senior, Bryson earned the American Institute of Chemists Award, given to the student with the highest grade-point average in the chemistry department. For three years, Bryson was a University Ambassador, serving as a representative for St. Cloud State at official university and charitable events. Additionally, she represented the women’s swimming program on the school’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, including taking the role of vice president. With SAAC, she organized several initiatives, including food drives, a mental health panel and fundraisers. For her involvement and leadership on campus, Bryson was presented with the Dennis Thayer Excellence in Leadership Award in 2018.

Jevon Carter

School: West Virginia
Major: Sport Management
Sport: Men’s Basketball

Former West Virginia men’s basketball student-athlete Jevon Carter led West Virginia to 105 wins and four NCAA tournament appearances including three trips to the Sweet 16 during his career. The standout recorded 1,758 total career points and set the school record for most season steals (112), most career steals (330) and most season assists (246). In the 2017-18 season, Carter became the Division I steals leader with 112 and was the only Division I men’s basketball player in the nation to average more than 17 points, six assists and three steals per game. Carter’s decorated career includes a Naismith Defensive Player of the Year award, two National Association of Basketball Coaches Defensive Player of the Year awards, and two Lefty Driesell Defensive Player of the Year Awards among a host of All-America honors. Carter, a three-time Academic All-Big 12 men’s basketball honoree, was also the 2017-18 College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-American of the Year for Division I men’s basketball, the Big 12 Men’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year and the Arthur Ashe Jr. Men’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Additionally, Carter was the recipient of the 2018 Senior CLASS Award for men’s basketball, honoring the attributes of college seniors in four areas: community, classroom, character and competition. While at West Virginia, he also served his community, volunteering at the Dream Foundation and the United Way basketball clinic among several other charitable organizations. Carter was drafted as the 32nd pick in the 2018 NBA Draft by the Memphis Grizzlies.

Lucas Kaliszak

School: Alabama
Major: Human Performance Exercise Science
Sport: Men’s Swimming and Diving

Former Alabama men’s swimming student-athlete Lucas Kaliszak graduated summa cum laude in 2018. While at Alabama, Kaliszak was a 12-time All-American, earning seven first-team accolades. He swam the butterfly leg on Alabama’s first NCAA relay championship title as part of the 2016 200-yard medley relay. Kaliszak was a USA National Championships bronze medalist in the 100-meter backstroke in 2015 and a silver medalist at the 2017 U.S. Open as part of the Crimson Tide’s 400-meter freestyle relay. He broke Alabama school records in four events, including two individual and two relays. In the classroom, Kaliszak was a two-time member of the College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-American At-Large First Team and a four-year College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America Scholar first-team All-American. In 2018, Kaliszak was named the Southeastern Conference Swimming and Diving Scholar-Athlete of the Year and earned postgraduate scholarships from both the NCAA and SEC. Kaliszak volunteered at a local elementary school for two years, speaking with fourth-graders about leadership, self-respect and other topics.

Alison Lindsay

School: Washington University in St. Louis
Majors: Political Science, French
Sport: Women’s Cross Country, Track and Field

Alison Lindsay is a 2018 graduate of Washington University in St. Louis. A team captain on the cross country and track and field teams, she earned all-conference honors in both sports each season. She also earned U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Midwest Region honors 11 times for indoor and outdoor track and field and All-Region honors all four years of cross country. In 2017, she was a member of the Division III indoor track and field distance medley relay championship team. That year she helped WashU to national championship titles in both the indoor and outdoor seasons. Lindsay also excelled in the classroom as a three-time College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-American and four-time USTFCCCA All-Academic honoree in both cross country and track and field. Last year, she was recognized with the A. Gwendolyn Drew Award for superior academic standing and contributions to athletics and the W. Alfred Hayes award for constructive leadership at WashU. On campus, Lindsay served as president of the Association of Christian Truth Seekers and led a student group of 30 in organizing service and fellowship events. From 2016 to 2018, she was also a member of the WashU Student-Athlete Advisory Committee where she participated  on the fundraising team. As a junior, Lindsay was one of three students in her class to be inducted to the nation’s oldest academic honorary society, Phi Beta Kappa. Lindsay also has served the community through volunteering with youth organizations, taking service trips, and helping at a nonprofit law office through the Migrant and Immigrant Community Action Project, which serves low-income immigrants in the St. Louis area and helped guide her to work as a paralegal.

Alex McMurtry

School: Florida
Major: Applied Physiology and Kinesiology — Exercise Physiology
Sport: Women’s Gymnastics

Alex McMurtry sealed Florida’s 2015 National Collegiate Women’s Gymnastics Championships team title with her uneven bars routine as the Gators’ final competitor of the meet. In 2017, McMurtry earned her first individual NCAA titles, emerging as  champion in the uneven bars and all-around competition. That year, she tied the NCAA championships’ uneven bars record and set the semifinal all-around record. In her last season with the Gators, she earned her third individual NCAA title as  2018 vault champion. The six-time Southeastern Conference champion earned All-America honors across all four events in both the regular season and postseason throughout her collegiate career. McMurtry was named the 2017 SEC Gymnast of the Year and the 2018 SEC Event Specialist of the Year. She is also a two-time National Association of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches Southeast Region Gymnast of the Year. McMurtry graduated summa cum laude from Florida in August 2018. The three-time College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-American was also an NCAA Elite 90 awardee among several other high academic honors. While serving on Florida’s Student-Athlete Advisory Council from 2015 to 2018, she organized and participated in several annual volunteer projects with the Goodwill Gators, Florida’s community outreach program that fosters citizenship among staff, coaches, student-athletes and the greater Gainesville, Florida, community.

Keturah Orji

School: Georgia
Major: Financial Planning
Sport: Women’s Track and Field

2018 NCAA Woman of the Year Keturah Orji served for three years on Georgia’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, including one year as vice president. In 2017, she founded Amara’s Pride, an after-school mentoring program for middle school girls, focusing on self-worth, education, social media influences and perseverance. Orji, a 2018 Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar, was a member of Georgia’s Sphinx Club honor society. She was named the Southeastern Conference Women’s Track and Field Scholar-Athlete of the Year twice for outdoor and once for indoor, and she was the university’s Joel Eaves Scholar-Athlete of the Year, presented to the female student-athlete with the highest GPA going into her senior year. She also received the SEC’s H. Boyd McWhorter Postgraduate Scholarship, presented to the conference’s top male and female scholar-athletes, and she earned an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. Orji was recognized by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association as the Division I Field Scholar-Athlete of the Year three times for outdoor and once for indoor. Orji — who competed and was fourth in the triple jump at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro — is a 15-time first-team All-American and eight-time NCAA individual national champion (four times in the outdoor triple jump, three times in the indoor triple jump and once in the outdoor long jump), helping Georgia win a team NCAA indoor championship in 2018. She holds the American and collegiate records for the indoor triple jump and the collegiate record for the outdoor triple jump. Orji was a four-time USTFCCCA Division I Women’s Field Athlete of the Year, and she is the only woman in history to be a three-time finalist for The Bowerman award. She is now pursuing a graduate degree at Georgia and is a volunteer assistant with the Bulldog track and field program.

Ben Reeves

School: Yale
Major: Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology
Sport: Men’s Lacrosse

Ben Reeves is a 2018 graduate of Yale, where he spent four years on the men’s lacrosse team. Reeves was an immediate contributor on the field, earning 2015 Ivy League Rookie of the Year honors, and for three consecutive years, he received first-team all-Ivy League honors for his performance. Reeves was also named the 2017 and 2018 New England Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association Player of the Year. In addition to receiving All-America honors three years in a row, he was a two-time Ivy League Player of the Year. Reeves was also a recipient of the 2018 Tewaaraton Award, an award given annually to the most outstanding American college lacrosse player. During his last season with the Bulldogs, he helped his team win the Division I Men’s Lacrosse Championship. In the classroom, Reeves earned College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-America honors in 2017 and 2018. In 2018, his name was listed on the NEILA All-Academic team. Outside of his athletic and academic responsibilities, Reeves is a regular volunteer at the local hospice care center. In the fall of 2015, he worked in the Yale cancer research lab, focusing on leukemia. The following summer, he worked at the University of Rochester, researching tumors of the neural crest while shadowing a pediatric oncologist at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, New York.

Kyle Snyder

School: Ohio State
Major: Sport Industry
Sport: Wrestling

Kyle Snyder, a 2018 graduate of Ohio State, captured both the Big Ten and NCAA heavyweight wrestling titles in 2016, 2017 and 2018. Snyder reached the NCAA finals all four seasons and helped the Buckeyes to an NCAA team championship in 2015 with runner-up finishes in 2017 and 2018. He earned All-America honors during each campaign and was named the Most Outstanding Wrestler at the 2016 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships. That same year, he brought home Olympic gold in Rio de Janeiro, leading to his distinction as the 2017 U.S. Olympic Committee’s Male Athlete of the Year. Snyder added multiple world titles while at Ohio State, becoming the youngest Olympic and world champion in U.S. wrestling history. Snyder’s academic success earned him the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 2018, an award given to a student-athlete from the graduating class of each university who attained the greatest proficiency in athletics and scholastic work. Additionally, he earned all-academic honors from the National Wrestling Coaches Association for four straight years, as well as Academic All-America honors from the College Sports Information Directors of America in 2017. Outside of sports, Snyder is committed to making a positive impact on the lives of children in his community. He has spent numerous hours with youth-focused organizations such as the Casey Cares Foundation, the 2nd & 7 Foundation and Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Snyder also served as a motivational speaker at local elementary, middle and high schools and as a youth club wrestling instructor in the Columbus, Ohio, area.

Julia Wilson

School: Kenyon
Major: Psychology
Sport: Women’s Swimming and Diving

Julia Wilson, a 2018 NCAA Woman of the Year Top 30 honoree who swam for Kenyon, graduated from the college in 2018. Wilson was a 2018 Division III champion in the 400-yard medley relay and the runner-up in the 100 breaststroke. Overall, she has six career top-three finishes in NCAA championship breaststroke events. Additionally, Wilson was a 14-time first-team All-American across nine individual events and five relay events. While at Kenyon, she set the school and North Coast Athletic Conference records in both the 100 and 200 breaststroke. In 2016, Wilson earned individual NCAC titles in both breaststroke events and the 200 individual medley. She helped Kenyon to two team NCAC titles in 2016 and 2018. Wilson was Kenyon’s female winner of the NCAC Scholar-Athlete Award for the 2017-18 year. She was named the College Sports Information Directors of America Division III At-Large Academic All-American of the Year in 2018 and also received Academic All-America honors in 2017. In 2018, Wilson was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, a national academic honorary society, while already a member of Psi Chi, an international honor society for psychology. She received the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship and Emory’s Laney Graduate School Fellowship. In addition to athletics and her classwork, Wilson volunteered with Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and East Knox Elementary School, raised funds for the Alzheimer’s Association, and served as a mentor and tutor.