March 7, 2008
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. -- The Patriot League office announced Thursday night that Navy's Kelly Zahalka (Jr., Richmond, Va.) was selected as the Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year for the sport of women's swimming and diving. This is the second-straight year in which she has won the laurel.
An honors history major with a minor in Chinese, Zahalka has posted a cumulative grade-point average of 4.00 and is ranked first in her class on both the academic and military orders of merit at the Academy. In addition to previously earning the league's scholar-athlete award in 2007, she also garnered Third-Team Academic All-America honors from ESPN the Magazine and the College Sports Information Directors of America and received Academic All-America distinction from the Collegiate Swimming Coaches Association of America last year.
In the pool this year, Zahalka won a pair of individual and relay event titles at the Patriot League Championship to raise her career total of crowns to six and four, respectively. Individually she won the 200 butterfly and the 400 individual medley titles at the meet this year, while helping the Mids win the 200 and 800 freestyle relay titles, as well. Additionally, she placed second by eight-hundredth of a second in the 200 IM final and tallied the second-highest total of individual points (57) scored at the meet.
She also totaled 24 individual event victories in 37 races during the 2007-08 regular season.
Zahalka was selected as the 2007 Patriot League Swimmer of the Year after winning the 200 butterfly and both individual medley events at that year's league championship, which came one year after her winning the league's 400 IM title as a freshman. She has never finished lower than fourth place in an individual event at the Patriot League Meet and has finished second, first and in a tie for fifth place for the most points scored by an individual at her three championship meets.
She holds Navy records in the 200 fly, 400 IM and 800 free relay, Patriot League records in the 400 IM and 800 free relay and league meet records in the 200 fly, 400 IM and 800 free relay.
Zahalka has totaled 70 career individual event regular season victories, which includes a 7-0 record in individual events during Army-Navy meets.