By Atlantic 10 Conference
NEWPORT NEWS, Va.— The Atlantic 10 Conference has named Davidson women’s swimming standout Elise Lankiewicz and baseball iron man Durin O’Linger its women’s and men’s Scholar-Athletes of the Year.
Voted on by the league’s Directors of Athletics, the award is given to a male and a female student-athlete, based on their athletic success and academic prowess.
It is the first time Davidson has won the Scholar-Athlete award, and the first time since 2010-11 that the male and female winners have both come from the same A-10 institutions. Lankiewicz is the third women’s swimmer in league history to claim the award, and the first since 2013-14 when Richmond’s Amalia Kobelja earned the honor. The seventh baseball player in conference history to earn the honor, O’Linger is the first since St. Bonaventure’s Randy Moley in 2007-08.
A recently graduated senior from Wilmington, Del., Lankiewicz was Davidson’s nominee for the prestigious NCAA Woman of the Year Award. She also was the winner of Davidson’s Rebecca Stimson Award, and winner of the school’s Female Athlete of the Year honor. She also became the third Wildcat in school history to qualify for the NCAA Championships, where she finished as high as 21st in a field full of Olympians, Gold Medalists, and World Record holders, breaking the school’s long-held 100 freestyle record during the preliminaries. She tallied over 75 first-place finishes during her four years at Davidson, where she holds 12 school records and another five in the Atlantic 10. Lankiewicz tied a league-record in 2017 by winning A-10 Performer of the Week six times in a single season. She was a three-time A-10 Championship Most Outstanding Performer after sweeping her events for three seasons.
A biology major, Lankiewicz was a three-time Atlantic 10 All-Academic selection and three-time CSCAA Scholar All-American and one of 14 winners of the prestigious Atlantic 10 Postgraduate Scholarship in May. She graduated Cum Laude and was a Bryan Scholar, which is awarded to two members of the Davidson class for outstanding academic and athletic contributions. A member of Beta Beta Beta, she also was a team captain at Davidson's Relay for Life event the past three years helping organize teammates and assisting in fundraising for the event. Lankiewicz has also worked as a travel grant advisor for the Dean Rusk International Studies Program and served as a four-year member of Turner Eating House raising funds on behalf of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
A captain, O’Linger led the Wildcats on a historic 2017 run, where they claimed the program’s first conference title in its 115-year existence, and was the team’s driving force behind their NCAA Regional and Super Regional play. He was named the Atlantic 10 Championship’s Co-MVP after tossing over 230 pitches over the span of five days, where he picked up two wins and struck out 11. O’Linger picked up the win in Davidson’s first-ever NCAA Regional, taking down No. 2 UNC, then recorded a save two days later as the ‘Cats swept the Chapel Hill Regional. For the season, he made 20 appearances and 17 starts, which ties for first all-time in a single season. O’Linger was named A-10 Co-Pitcher of the Week and d1baseball.com’s Player of the Day after tossing a complete game shutout on 4/21 vs. NC A&T, where he carried a no-hitter into the 7th, struck out 9, and allowed zero walks. He ranks third all-time in single-season innings pitched and career shutouts for Davidson.
A recently graduated biology major, O’Linger graduated Magna Cum Laude and was a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award. A two-time A-10 All-Academic team member, he also was inducted into the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa fraternity, one of seven baseball players to do so in program history. O’Linger spearheads the program’s Team IMPACT efforts, where he became a “big brother” to Davidson fan Jack Bolton, a child suffering from muscular dystrophy. He organized the opportunity for Jack to be an honorary manager, and also to throw out a first pitch at Davidson’s game in Uptown Charlotte at the Triple-A BB&T Ballpark. He also was a Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) Representative and member of FCA.