Athletes Highlights

WCU Football Team Saving Lives

The West Chester University football team is making history not on the field, but with a life saving medical donation.

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Person in hospital

Kristen Montello

Kristen Montello, a senior on West Chester’s women’s swimming team,  has been selected as a recipient of the 2010-11 PSAC Sportsmanship Award. Now in its third year of existence, the PSAC Sportsmanship Award is given annually to one male and one female student-athlete, who best exemplify the spirit of sportsmanship, and who has demonstrated the values of respect and integrity through a specific action ideally directed toward an opponent. A nominee must also have represented his/her institution in a positive way during competition and must have demonstrated good citizenship outside of competition by fostering a good public image.

Montello sacrificed a season-best time and top-eight finish in an event at the PSAC Swimming Championships in February with her act of outstanding sportsmanship. A distance specialist and two-time PSAC Winter Top 10 award winner, Montello won the 1000-yard freestyle at the PSAC Championships in each of the last two years and the 500 free at the 2010 meet. In her final chance to also claim a PSAC title in the 1650 free, Montello came up a bit short, but still posted what was a season-best time by over six seconds and an NCAA ‘B’ provisional qualifying time to finish in fourth place.

However, after swimming the grueling 66 laps of the event, she got out of the pool, at which point she realized there was still another swimmer that had yet to finish the race. While this action may appear insignificant on the surface, in swimming, if one gets out of the pool before another athlete finishes, it is generally a sign of disrespect. Knowing this, Montello quickly jumped back into the pool out of respect for that athlete as she finished swimming the race.

According to the rules of swimming, if a swimmer jumps back into the pool after getting out, he or she is disqualified unless that person has permission from officials. Although the rule is not well-known and seldom is invoked since the situation does not often occur, Montello’s desire to maintain respect for an opponent and fellow competitor got her disqualified from the race. Her time therefore did not count toward NCAA consideration and she did not get to stand on the podium for earning what would have been a fourth-place finish. Although her selfless act came at a personal cost at the PSAC Championships, she was ultimately rewarded her for selflessness as she did end up qualifying for the 1650 at the NCAA Championships and although she did not have an All-American finish in that event, she did swim to All-American finishes in three other individual events.

Kristen Montello

Jessica Bennett

West Chester University women’s soccer senior defender Jessica Bennett has been named to the 2010 Capital One Women’s Soccer Academic All-America® College Division first team, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).

A first team All-PSAC East selection, Bennett is an Elementary Education major with a 4.00 grade-point average. A four-year starter at center-midfield and a two-year team captain, she led the fourth-ranked Golden Rams to an 18-1-2 record and a PSAC championship this past fall. In addition to scoring six goals with three assists, the Littlestown, Pa. native has anchored a West Chester defense that posted 17 shutouts with an 0.42 goals-against average, which ranks fifth nationally.

Bennett was also a first team Academic All-American® a year ago.

To be eligible, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.30 on a scale of 4.00, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standings at his/her current institution and be nominated by his/her sports information director. Since the program’s inception in 1952, CoSIDA has bestowed Academic All-America honors on more than 14,000 student-athletes in Divisions I, II, III and NAIA, covering all NCAA championship sports.

Jessica Bennett

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