Liberty junior swimmer Alicia Finnigan was among a select group of standout student-athletes honored last night at the NCAA Division I Men's College World Series in Omaha, Neb.
Finnigan, along with 13 other student-athletes, took part in an on-field ceremony, celebrating their status as recipients of the NCAA ELITE 90 Award for the 2017-18 academic year. This elite group of student-athletes was honored prior to last night's elimination game between North Carolina and Oregon State at TD Ameritrade Park.
The ELITE 90, 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 90 is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA's 90 championships.
Finnigan, a native of Sugar Land, Texas, is the first Liberty student-athlete in any sport to earn the award since its inception during the 2009-10 academic year. She was named the recipient of the NCAA ELITE 90 Award at the 2018 NCAA Division I Women's Swimming & Diving Championships.
The junior has received several major awards this season. Finnigan was voted to the 2018 Google Cloud Academic All-America® Women's At-Large second team She was named the 2018 Coastal Collegiate Sports Association (CCSA) Women's Swimmer of the Year. Finnigan carries a 4.0 GPA as an interdisciplinary studies major. Next week, she will be named to the CSCAA Scholar All-America team for the third time in her career.
A seven-time CCSA medalist, Finnigan made her second NCAA appearance in a row this season, competing in the 100 and 200 fly at the 2018 NCAA Division I Women's Swimming & Diving Championships. She swam 1:55.58 in the 200 fly at the NCAA meet, good for 20th place. Her lifetime-best 53.37 in the 100 fly placed 42nd overall at the NCAA Championships. For the second year in a row, Finnigan made three podium appearances at the CCSA Championships. She won the CCSA 200 fly in both 2017 and 2018. She punched her ticket to NCAA nationals with a program-record 1:55.33 in the 200 fly at the Liberty Last Chance Meet.