Recent Navy graduate and swimming standout Ellen Bradford (Knoxville, Tenn.) has been selected as the 2015-16 Corvias Patriot League Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year. The league office made the announcement on Wednesday.
A scholar-athlete of the year is selected for each of the league’s 24 sponsored sports. Nomination requirements for the sport laurel include being at least a sophomore academically, having at least a 3.20 cumulative grade-point average and being a starter or key reserve on the team. All individual sport winners are then placed on a league-wide ballot to select the overall male and female scholar-athlete of the year.
Bradford, who graduated from the USNA in May and is currently attending the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterrey, Calif., compiled a 4.00 GPA as an honors systems engineering major and ranked first on the USNA’s Academic Order of Merit for the Class of 2016. A recipient of an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship and Navy’s nominee for the 2016 NCAA Woman-of-the-Year Award, the future nuclear submarine officer is one of three Mids during the school’s quarter century membership in the Patriot League to have been selected as the scholar-athlete of the year for a sport in each of her three eligible seasons. Bradford also is one of only three Mids to have been tabbed as an Academic All-American by the College Sports Information Directors of America three times in the over 60-year existence of the program. She earned her second-straight first-team nod in 2016 after having been a third-team selection in 2014.
A four-time First-Team All-Patriot League honoree, Bradford advanced to the championship final in each of the 12 career individual events she was entered into at the league meet. She won a pair of individual event titles, placed second five times and recorded nine top-four showings to help the Mids win four team titles at the meet. Bradford capped her athletic career by competing in the 100 breaststroke at June’s U.S. Olympic Team Trials.
Bradford becomes the 14th Mid to be selected as a Patriot League scholar-athlete of the year. Navy’s tally of 14 honorees leads all league schools (Colgate ranks second with eight awards) and a Mid has garnered at least one of the laurels in 10 of the last 13 years, including 2007 when Navy swept the male and female laurels. Most recently, Navy’s Tom Buffone (track & field) won the male award in 2015. Bradford also is Navy’s eighth female recipient, is the first Mid to win the women’s award since Brigid Byrne (cross country, track & field) in 2013, and is just the second female (Navy’s Kelly Zahalka in 2008) and third overall honoree in the league who competed in swimming.