Gaines, Svejgård Nielsen Tabbed to CoSIDA Academic All-District At-Large First Team
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky women’s swimmer Riley Gaines and Rikke Svejgård Nielsen of women’s golf were selected to the 2021-22 CoSIDA Academic All-District Women’s At-Large Team, which was announced by CoSIDA on Friday morning.
The 2021-22 Academic All-District Women’s At-Large Team recognizes the nation’s top student-athletes for their performances in the classroom and in athletic competition. Both Wildcats will now advance to the CoSIDA Academic All-America ballot, with honorees being announced in June.
Gaines, who graduated summa cum laude with a 3.876 cumulative grade-point average as a health sciences major, earned a spot on the Dean’s List all eight semesters and the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll four times. She landed on the Southeastern Conference Academic Honor Roll the past four years and is a three-time College Swimming & Diving Coaches Association of America Scholar All-America First Team selection.
The Gallatin, Tennessee native was also tabbed the 2022 SEC Women’s Swimming and Diving Scholar-Athlete of the Year, earned the prestigious Sullivan Award and was named the Brad Davis SEC Community Service Leader of the Year.
A two-time team captain, Gaines graduated as one of the most decorated swimmers in program history. She owns the school record in three individual and four relay events, is an Olympic Trials qualifier, earned 11 medals at the SEC Championships – including four gold – and was instrumental in UK winning its first-ever conference title in 2021. She has amassed 12 All-America honors throughout her four-year career in the blue and white in addition to owning the SEC record in the 200 fly.
Svejgård Nielsen, who will be graduating in December 2022, is a fifth-year senior who will be receiving her degree in agricultural and medical biotechnology with a minor in neuroscience. Balancing golf and course work, the Denmark native also dedicates much of her time conducting medical research with the mission of finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Following the conclusion of graduation, Svejgård Nielsen will follow the research company to Gainesville where she will continue her research and pursue her doctorate degree at the University of Florida.
The team captain has set an example for her teammates both on and off the golf course. With a cumulative GPA of 3.775, she is a two-time member of the Women’s Golf Coaches Association Scholar Team and SEC Academic Honor Roll. Svejgård Nielsen has also been named to the university’s Dean’s List and Athletic Director’s Honor Roll every semester since she began her career at UK. In 2021, she was inducted into the UK Athletics Frank G. Ham Society of Character and named the SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
On the athletic front, Svejgård Nielsen has been a consistent competitor for the Wildcats. Playing a career-total 99 rounds in 38 events, she has averaged 74.6 with a low-18 of 66. She has also earned her way into the top-10 six times with 14 top-20 appearances.