There might not be a program in the country that turns out finer human beings than Frank Busch‘s Arizona Wildcats swimming program.
For the third time in four seasons, the UA swimming program has produced the Pac-10 Woman of the Year, this time the honor going to senior Justine Schluntz. The others were Lacey Nymeyer (2009) and Whitney Myers (2007).
Schluntz will now compete for NCAA Woman of the Year, an award Myers won in 2007.
According to a Pac-10 press release:
The NCAA Woman of the Year Award honors graduating student-athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in the areas of academic achievement, athletics excellence, community service and leadership.
A native of Albuquerque, N.M., Schluntz graduated with a mechanical engineering degree, boasting a 3.94 grade point average and is currently at UA pursuing a master’s degree. In the fall, Schluntz is headed to Oxford University as one of 32 U.S. students to be awarded a Rhodes Scholarship this year, and will be studying fluid dynamics and renewable energy source. The ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA At-Large Academic All-America of the Year, Schluntz was a finalist for the Walter Byers Scholarship and NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, was named the Pac-10 Women’s Swimming Scholar-Athlete of the Year and was a recipient of the Tom Hansen Conference Medal award.
In the pool, Schluntz has been among the top swimmers in the country. At this year’s NCAA Championships in West Lafayette, Ind., she scored points for Arizona in a team-high seven events (50 free, 100 free, 100 back, 200 free relay, 400 free relay, 200 medley relay and 400 medley relay), en route to Arizona’s fourth-place finish. In her four seasons as a Wildcat, Schluntz’s teams finished first in 2008, second in 2007, third in 2009 and fourth in 2010 at NCAA’s.
Schluntz swam the anchor leg for both the 200 medley relay and 400 medley relay in 2010, leading the Wildcats to claim the national championships in both events. Over her career, Schluntz was a part of six national championship-winning events. Additionally, Arizona won the team NCAA Championship in women’s swimming in 2008. In both championship-winning relays in 2009, Schluntz was a part of, and still holds, American and NCAA records in the 200 free relay and 400 medley relay.
Schluntz has logged over 70 hours helping many Tucson, Ariz. organizations, including Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tucson. Among the numerous community service organizations with which she has volunteered, she was a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), helped distribute Christmas gifts with the Casa de los Niños organization, taught Sunday School classes at Canyon Del Oro Baptist Church, and participated in Jim Click Run ‘N’ Roll, a fundraiser for the University of Arizona’s adaptive athletics program for disabled athletes.