May 21, 2009
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Four student-athletes from the Naval Academy were recognized Thursday for their accomplishments in the classroom and on the playing field this year by being named to one of the ESPN the Magazine's Academic All-District II Teams for at-large sports, as selected and announced by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Swimmer Kelly Zahalka (Sr., Richmond, Va.) and rower Kerry Hannon (Sr., Bethesda, Md.) were named to the women's first team, while golfer David Miller (Sr., Chillicothe, Ohio) and swimmer Nathan Durham (Sr., Greensboro, N.C.) were first-team all-district selections in the men's balloting.
The Navy quartet will now be placed onto the respective men's and women's national ballots where they will vie with the other first-team selections from around the country for Academic All-America honors. Zahalka, who was selected as a First-Team Academic All-American last year after receiving third-team recognition in 2007, is the lone Navy nominee to have previously garnered the national accolade.
To be eligible for the initial district ballot, student-athletes must have attained a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.30, be at least a sophomore academically and a starter or key reserve on their respective team. The at-large sports consists of women's bowling, women's crew, fencing, women's field hockey, golf, gymnastics, ice hockey, lacrosse, rifle, skiing, swimming, tennis, men's volleyball, water polo and men's wrestling. CoSIDA's District II consists of schools located in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Washington, D.C.
Zahalka, who had attained a 4.00 GPA prior to the announcement of final grades at Navy, majored in honors history and worked towards a minor in Chinese at the school. She has been selected as the Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year for her sport three times in her career and was tabbed as the league's overall female scholar-athlete of the year in 2008. Additionally, the future Marine Corps officer has garnered both a Harry S. Truman and Gen. George C. Marshall Scholarship, with the latter award allowing her to study for two years in the United Kingdom.
In the pool, Zahalka totaled six individual event and four relay event titles in her career at the Patriot League Championship. Her overall tally of 10 titles is tied for seventh place in Navy history. She garnered Patriot League Swimmer-of-the-Year honors in 2007 and received a trio of first-team all-league accolades over the course of her career. Additionally, she leaves Navy holding the school record in both the 200 butterfly and 400 individual medley events.
An applied math major with a cumulative GPA of 3.79, Hannon also earned First-Team All-District II honors in 2008. She was tabbed as the 2009 Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year for women's rowing and is a two-time Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association National Scholar-Athlete recipient. Hannon will be commissioned as an officer in the Marine Corps Friday during graduation ceremonies in Annapolis.
Hannon rowed in the first varsity boat during each of her four years as a member of the Navy rowing program. She twice earned All-Patriot League accolades during her career and helped guide her boat to an 11-4 record this spring.
Miller became the fourth different Mid to earn the nod as the Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year for golf with his selection this spring. The 2008-09 Navy golf team captain posted a 3.58 GPA as a quantitative economics major and garnered academic accolades from the USNA during each of his eight semesters. Miller will join Zahalka and Hannon as the newest officers in the Marine Corps when he receives his commission Friday.
The lone member of the Navy team to represent the Mids in each of the program's 10 tournaments this year, Miller owned the lowest stroke average on the team with a mark of 76.4 during his 25 rounds. He was the low Mid in six of those 10 events, which included a third-place showing at this year's Patriot League Championship. Miller also received First-Team All-Patriot League honors last year when he placed fifth at the league championship.
Durham compiled a 3.74 GPA during his four years at Navy. The ocean engineering major was named to the Superintendent's List six times in his career and received Dean's List recognition in his remaining two semesters. He will be sworn in as an Ensign in the Navy Friday and will soon report to flight school to begin training as a pilot.
A member of Patriot League title-winning teams as both a junior and senior, Durham garnered First-Team All-Patriot League honors in 2008 before receiving second-team laurels this year. He totaled six league relay titles during his two seasons with the team, which included victories in the 200, 400 and 800 freestyle relay events this season. Durham also advanced to the championship final of an individual event six times over the past two seasons. He placed among the top-six finishers four times and was the runner-up in the 200 freestyle event at the 2008 league championship.