[Editors Note]: This article was originally published on August 16, 2020, when Seidt was named as the SEC’s nomination for the NCAA Woman of the Year award. At that time, there were 161 nominees, including 59 representing Division I programs. This week, the selection committee narrowed their pool to a Top 30, giving the nod to 10 female student-athletes from each division. Once again, Seidt made the cut.
Asia Seidt had one heck of a swimming career at the University of Kentucky.
The Louisville native finished her four years as a Wildcat as the program’s most-decorated athlete in school history, accumulating 21 All-American honors, 15 SEC Championship medals, nine school records (five individual), eight NCAA podium finishes, four conference titles, two consecutive years as Kentucky’s Miss Wildcat, one USA Swimming Summer Nationals gold medal, one silver medal from the World University Games in Italy and the title SEC’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
Now, she’s the SEC’s only nomination for this year’s NCAA Woman of the Year Award.
Still, she’s strikingly humble.
“It’s crazy to see the other people nominated,” Seidt told reporters Friday via Zoom. “It’s such an elite group of athletes, and it’s truly such an honor to just be in the field with those people.”
Seidt was rightfully included as one such “elite” athlete, and her talents have been on display in the Bluegrass for over a decade. In high school, she competed for Sacred Heart Academy and the Lakeside Swim Club before committing to swim for the Wildcats.
Out of the water, she earned a 4.0 GPA, completed 450 hours of professional shadowing and over 200 hours of community service. She graduated in May with a Bachelor of Science degree in kinesiology with summa cum laude honors. When she was named SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year, she earned $20,000 in scholarship money. She’ll stay in the Bluegrass and put that scholarship to use for UK’s physical therapy graduate program. Classes start on Monday.
Unfortunately, Seidt’s swimming career was cut just short due to the COVID-19 pandemic. When coronavirus forced the NCAA to cancel the sport’s championship a mere four days before they were scheduled to begin, Seidt still had the Olympic Trials to look forward to. Then, those were postponed for a year, along with the Tokyo Olympics. Because collegiate swimming is considered a winter sport – not spring – she didn’t receive an extra year of eligibility. She could still compete in the Olympic Trials next year, but that would complicate her graduate school acceptance and career plans.
Eventually, she decided “it was best to just move on.”
“To say you’re from Kentucky and to represent the state of Kentucky, and you’re from there, I think it means more to me than anything. I love this state and I love this school. I had never really been [to Lexington] in high school besides just the pool, but the people here have made it so beyond special,” Seidt told reporters. “It’s truly been such an honor to have UK on my cap for the past four years and be able to represent them. It’s like the best of the best people, and it’s going to be hard to leave that environment, but I’m excited for what the future holds.”
The 2020 NCAA Woman of the Year will be announced this fall. Best of luck to Asia – the BBN is rooting for you.