July 23, 2024

2021 DIII Week

Dear UMW Colleagues,

April 5-11 marks the NCAA’s Division III week, a national celebration of Division III student-athletes and their commitment to academic and athletic excellence. Division III student-athletes receive no athletic scholarships whatsoever. Like all of our students, UMW student-athletes learn valuable lessons in the classroom and in their chosen activities. I’d like to highlight what two UMW alumni have told me about how athletics influenced them after Mary Washington and into their careers.

Jin Wong '97

Jin Wong ’97

In order of graduation from UMW, Jin Wong (Business, Class of 1997, Baseball) currently works as Assistant General Manager for Baseball Operations for the Kansas City Royals.

Being a student-athlete at UMW, I came to understand the importance of time management and prioritization. Sports encourages teamwork, nurtures leadership skills, satisfies our competitive natures, and helps us understand how we cope with pressure and expectations. I firmly believe that these skills I developed while a member of the baseball team proved extremely valuable for me in life after UMW.

Shelby Harris, (Economics, Class of 2016, Tennis) is the Private Events Manager at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

Shelby Harris '16

Shelby Harris ’16

Being a student-athlete at UMW prepared me in multiple ways for life post-college. I learned the importance of time management and organization from when I had to balance school work with practices. These skills have transferred over to my career where I have to multitask and adhere to deadlines. Being a captain of my collegiate team taught me leadership and communication skills which have been key throughout my personal and professional life. The early morning workouts and the late nights traveling for matches instilled in me the importance of working hard and not being afraid of long hours. Especially when I started my career right out of college, I was always willing to come in as early or stay as late as needed to get the job done. 

Most importantly, being a part of a team at UMW gave me a family that I am still close with years after we have all graduated. Having a strong support system and network post-college has really been beneficial for all of us as we have journeyed through different careers in all regions of the country. For these reasons, I am super grateful for my time at UMW as a student-athlete! 

I hope you’ll join me in applauding our student-athletes, as well as their coaches and trainers, as they continue to develop life-long skills here at UMW.

Best wishes,

Mary Beth Mathews, Faculty Athletics Representative, Professor of Religious Studies

UMW Celebrates Division III Week, April 13-19

UMW Women's Basketball participates in a read-aloud with local students.

UMW Women’s Basketball participates in a read-aloud with local students.

Dear UMW Colleagues,

Last week marked the NCAA’s Division III week, April 13-19, our student-athletes are not able to practice or compete. So rather than focus on what the student-athletes and their coaches accomplish on the field or court, I will take this opportunity to recognize their incredible devotion to a key part of our ASPIRE values—engagement through service.

As you may know, our student-athletes receive no athletic scholarships whatsoever. They chose the DIII model because it combines a love of the game with the chance to concentrate on academic achievement as well. Here at UMW, our varsity athletics teams pride themselves on not just their GPAs and win/loss records, but also how much and how often they can find opportunities to volunteer for a myriad of causes and groups in the Fredericksburg area. The Eagles have been working hard all year in a friendly competition to amass the most volunteer hours, and even though their Spring seasons and service events were abruptly ended, they managed to make substantial contributions.

UMW student-athletes participate in a clean-up of the Rappahannock River.

UMW student-athletes participate in a clean-up of the Rappahannock River.

For example, the men’s soccer team led all others in total service hours with 320.5. Off the pitch, they helped set up and break down equipment for the Make-a-Wish Foundation’s gymnastics event, served community dinners at the Fredericksburg Baptist Church, and assisted an elderly Fredericksburg resident with her move. The next closest team was men’s and women’s swimming, at 256 hours, followed by women’s basketball with 233. These teams participated in COAR Into the Streets and community dinners. But total service hours for a team is only one way the student-athletes compete. The women’s basketball team holds the record for most hours per individual student-athlete with an average of 15.52 hours. And the entire Athletics Department participated in a Capital Athletic Conference food drive during the Fall semester, collecting a whopping 6395 pounds of food to donate to the Fredericksburg Regional Food Bank. That total beat the nearest CAC competitor—CNU—by almost two tons.

All teams provided volunteers for special events like blood drives, reading clinics with grade school children, cleaning up the Rappahannock River, present wrapping for COAR, and assisting with Special Olympics events. These activities build camaraderie, but they also allow the volunteers a chance to learn about the needs of the local community and take an active role in helping others.

While we’re all anxious to get back to our usual routines, I hope you’ll join me in thanking the student-athletes and their coaches for their dedication to making our world just a little bit better.

Best wishes,

Mary Beth Mathews

UMW Faculty Athletics Representative, Professor of Religious Studies

UMW Men’s Soccer Hosts NCAA Division III Tournament This Weekend

The University of Mary Washington men’s soccer team will host the first and second rounds of the NCAA Division III Tournament this weekend at the Battleground Athletic Complex. The Eagles will host Keystone College on Saturday at 11:00 AM, and Rowan University will face Salve Regina University at 1:30 PM. Saturday’s winners will meet on Sunday in the second round at 1 PM.

Tickets for the games cost $6 for adults, $3 for students and seniors, and $2 for children age six and under. ALL UMW FACULTY, STAFF, AND STUDENTS WILL BE ADMITTED FREE WITH THEIR VALID UMW I.D.

The Eagles enter play in the NCAA Tournament for the 13th time in program history, after claiming their 11th Capital Athletic Conference tournament, including their third straight. UMW has been ranked as high as 11th in the nation this season.

For more information, please contact Clint Often at coften@umw.edu, or 654-1743.

NCAA’s Division III Week, April 1-7

UMW Eagle AthletesMary Beth Mathews, Faculty Athletics Representative and professor of religious studies, shared the following about the NCAA’s Division III week, which runs from April 1-7:

Because UMW is a DIII institution, our student-athletes receive no athletic scholarships whatsoever. They play for the love of the game and the way that sports complement their academic work. The camaraderie, competition, and sense of accomplishment all help fuel the student-athletes’ experiences. Like UMW students who excel in debate, theatre, music, and other activities, UMW student-athletes are driven by a passion for what they do and a love of the opportunities that UMW affords them.

You’ve likely heard of some of the individual competitors or teams through announcements on social media or in the press. I’d like to highlight one individual, Amanda St. Cyr, a senior Psychology major, who plays on our nationally-ranked women’s lacrosse team. Amanda wrote eloquently about how she manages to excel in the classroom and on the pitch, while facing a medical condition:

As I reflect on my experience at UMW, I recognize being a DIII student-athlete has shaped my everyday routine. As we can all relate, every day is a balancing act. It requires constant planning, responsibility, and the ability to overcome adversity.

The combination of athletics, academics, and being a Type-1 diabetic has influenced my ability to adjust and adapt to adverse situations. In my experience, no day is the same. I am constantly having to monitor and correct my glucose levels throughout a day filled with classes, lift, practice, competition, and academic assignments. My greatest takeaway from my collegiate career has been the importance of showing up. Showing up–focused and ready to contribute full effort and provide the best attitude to the given situation. I’ve learned that attitude is everything. Whether it pertains to managing emotional control throughout high and low points, or how one views hardships or successes, one’s attitude can truly impact outcomes. As my Head Coach, Caitlin Moore, says regularly “you are either positive or negative, never neutral.” If one is simply going through the motions, they are hindering not only themselves, but others as well.

I am extremely grateful for the continued support from my coaches, teammates, trainers, and UMW staff. Without their understanding, guidance, and constant belief in my capabilities, my opportunities would have been limited. UMW provides a great sense of community and belongingness. I full heartedly believe the balance between academics and athletics at the DIII level gives student-athletes the ideal college experience. I appreciate the unique aspect of Division 3, which is that student-athletes participate for the sole reason that they have passion for the game.

If you’d like to hear UMW student-athletes themselves, click on the attached audio files, all of which are DIII public service announcements recorded by UMW students and airing this week on local radio station B 101.5. Thank you for your support of the academic/athletic experience here at UMW, and thanks to our student-athletes, coaches, trainers, and faculty liaisons!



Anderson Wins National Championship in 400 IM

University of Mary Washington sophomore Alex Anderson became the fourth individual NCAA national champion in UMW school history by breaking the NCAA Division III record in the 400-yard individual medley on March 21 at the National Swimming and Diving Championships in Shenandoah, Texas.  Anderson finished with a time of 3:50.55. Seeded fourth in the event entering the championships with a time of 3:57, Anderson destroyed his career best by seven seconds in the final. He led the race from start to finish. He shattered the previous NCAA Division III record of 3:51.45, broken in 2009 by Alex Beyer of Washington University. “Alex represented all of the Eagles in the best way possible tonight,” said UMW head coach Abby Brethauer. “We could not be more proud of his national championship. To do it in record setting fashion makes it even more special.” Anderson joins Shannon Hutcherson (women’s swimming, 1993), Myra Simpson (women’s track, 1996), and Paul Bristow and Dan Uyar (men’s tennis doubles) as an individual national champion at UMW. Also in the weekend NCAA competition, Anderson finished second in the 200-yard butterfly, narrowly missing a second national title by .07 of a second. He was a member of several relay teams that finished well in Division III competition. The 400-medley relay team, also made up of Michael Yelmgren, Peter Slattery and Nick Eckhoff, placed 12th with a record time of 3:21.72. The men’s 800-free relay, including Eckhoff, Jack McHugh and Sean Mayer, finished in 18th place at 6:52.20.  The 400-free relay team, including Mayer, McHugh and Eckhoff, finished 21st with a time of 3:05.70. In other competition, junior Amber Kerico picked up her second All-America title an 11th place finish in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:20.25. Overall, the Eagle men finished the championship in 19th place with 47 points, while the women placed 38th with 10 points.