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W&L's Sykes Receives NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) released its 2015 winter postgraduate scholarship winners and Washington and Lee’s Rick Sykes ’13 was among the 29 Division I, II and III men that were recognized.

The selection of Sykes gives the Generals 19 scholarship winners in the last 12 years and 38 W&L athletes have been honored since 1970.

Sykes, a 2013 graduate with a degree in neuroscience, is currently attending Virginia Commonwealth University where he is enrolled in the School of Dentistry.

“This award is a very humbling experience for me and I am very thankful to the W&L community for all the support and opportunities they have provided me,” Said Sykes.  “The swim program taught me the value of individuality with team success. Coach (Kami) Gardner and my teammates provided never-ending support in achieving my goals, both athletically and academically.”

Sykes was a four-year letterwinner for the swimming team and he served as a team captain for his senior season.  He was a four-time First Team All-Bluegrass Mountain Conference selection, a seven-time All-America honoree and a Capital One Third Team Academic All-America honoree as a senior.  He was a First Team All-American as a senior when he finished fourth in the 50 free at the NCAA Division III Championships with the second-best time in school history (19.96).

Sykes also graduated with the second-fastest 100 free time in program history (45.34) and he was a member of the then school-record setting 200 medley (1:31.82) and 400 medley (3:24.20) relay teams.

The NCAA awards up to 174 postgraduate scholarships annually, 87 for men and 87 for women. Scholarships are awarded to student-athletes who excel both academically and athletically in intercollegiate athletics competition.

The one-time grants of $7,500 each are awarded for fall sports, winter sports and spring sports. Each sports season (fall, winter, spring), there are 29 scholarships available for men and 29 scholarships for women. The scholarships are one-time, non-renewable grants.