April 28, 2004

W&L's RITTER AWARDED NCAA POSTGRADUATE SCHOLARSHIP

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Washington and Lee senior swimmer Eric Ritter (Birmingham, Ala./Mountain Brook) has been awarded a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Postgraduate Scholarship. The award is a $7,500 scholarship for academic work beyond the baccalaureate degree as a full-time or part-time graduate student.

Ritter was one of 58 awardees from NCAA All-Divisions who received the scholarship after participating in a winter sport. The NCAA awards 174 scholarships annually in the fall, winter and spring seasons. Football player John Melillo '03 and tennis player Erika Proko '03 both received one of the 174 scholarships during the 2002-03 school year. Ritter's selection marked the 22nd time a W&L athlete has been selected to receive an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship since 1970.

A biology and classics major, Ritter claims a 3.879 cumulative grade-point average and plans on attending medical school at the University of Alabama.

In swimming, Ritter qualified for the NCAA Championships all four years, earning All-America honors five times. A three-time College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) Academic All-American, Ritter will graduate holding school records in the 100 backstroke (51.07), 200 backstroke (1:51.91), 200 medley relay (1:36.12) and 400 medley relay (3:30.18). As a senior, Ritter led W&L to a 7-0 record and a Bluegrass Mountain Conference Championship. A First Team All-Bluegrass Mountain Conference selection, Ritter finished seventh in the 100 back and 13th in the 200 back at the 2004 NCAA Championships.

In addition to his work in the pool and classroom, Ritter has also served as an assistant swimming coach in his hometown of Birmingham, Ala., and has been a volunteer with the Lexington Rescue Squad.

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