Gerhart Wins Centennial Conference Sportsmanship Award

Gerhart Wins Centennial Conference Sportsmanship Award

Second Year in a Row WC Student-Athlete Has Earned Honor

LANCASTER, PA - Washington College senior swimmer Kathy Gerhart (Phoenixville, PA/Phoenixville Area) has been selected as the female winner of the 2010 Centennial Conference Sportsmanship Award. Gerhart was chosen among student-athletes across the conference's 12 women's championship sports and will now be placed on the ballot for the NCAA Division III National Sportsmanship Award this summer. She is the second-ever Washington College student-athlete to win the award; former WC baseball player Jim Bannar '09 was the male winner last year.

A team captain, Student-Athlete Mentor, and Dean's List student, Gerhart faced a significant hurdle prior to the 2010 Centennial Conference Championships - the last conference championship meet of her career. For about two weeks near the end of the season, she was not feeling well and adjustments were being made to her training for the championship meet. The Monday before the meet she was diagnosed with an illness that would apparently end her collegiate swimming career prematurely. Through phone calls and doctor visits, however, she was ultimately given permission to make her own choice, knowing that, should she participate, she would likely have to sacrifice some of her planned events.

Gerhart ended up giving up one of her three individual events - one in which she was one of the favorites to win gold - and, instead swam two individual events and all five relay events. Her new goal was to help her team win all five relay events - something which her team had never done and which had only been done three times previously by any team in conference history. Gerhart and her teammates went on to do exactly that, breaking four school and one Centennial Conference relay record in the process. On top of that, Gerhart won gold in the two individual events - the 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle - which she did enter. By sacrificing for her teammates and swimming past her illness, Gerhart helped her team achieve an historic feat.

The male winner of the 2010 Centennial Conference Sportsmanship Award is Haverford soccer player Brian Pepe-Mooney. The award winners are chosen via vote by the Centennial Conference Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.