KU swimmer Haley Downey named co-Big 12 scholar athlete of the year

Kansas swimmer Haley Downey on Tuesday was named the Big 12 women’s swimming and diving co-scholar athlete of the year.

A senior from Bartlesville, Okla., Downey is a three-time academic all-Big 12 selection (2018-20) and also was a member of the conference’s 2017 academic all-rookie team.

At this year’s Big 12 championship, Downey took second in the 200-yard breaststroke, fourth in the 100-yard breaststroke and fifth in the 200-yard individual medley.

“We are so happy for Haley’s Big 12 honor,” KU coach Clark Campbell said in a news release. “She was a leader in the pool and classroom during her entire Jayhawk career. Haley was truly an exemplary collegiate student-athlete.”

An exercise science/pre-physical therapy major, Downey recorded a 4.0 grade-point average and 100% participation rating this season.

She shared the honor with Iowa State senior Emma Ruehle.

The Big 12 Conference established the scholar athlete of the year award in 2012-13.

Every Big 12 institution nominates one individual per sport and the winners are selected by a vote of the conference’s head coaches for each sport. Coaches are not allowed to vote for their own athletes.

The nominees must be juniors or seniors, have a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 or higher, participate in at least 20% of the team’s scheduled contests and have a minimum of one year in residence at the university.

Other winners announced Tuesday include: Baylor’s Freddie Gillespie and Kansas State’s Peyton Williams in men’s and women’s basketball; Baylor’s Rachael Davis in equestrian; and TCU’s Kevin Chao in men’s swimming and diving.

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