LA JOLLA, Calif. - For the first time, the NCAA has selected a fan favorite among its 2013-14 Elite 89 award winners, and Luke Calkins, a fourth-year senior diver at UC San Diego last season, placed 17th out of 89 contenders.
The first round of the contest went from Monday, July 7, until Sunday, July 13, when the field was narrowed down from 89 Elite 89 honorees for 2013-14, to 30 semifinalists. Calkins received the 18th-most votes, with 434.
The vote tallies were completely reset after the first round, and semifinals began just after 7 a.m. PT on Monday, July 14. They ran through Tuesday, July 15, at 5 p.m. PT. The top 10 vote-getters advanced to the finals on Wednesday and Thursday, July 16-17, with the winner announced on Friday, July 18. Calkins was unable to move on to the finals, attaining 442 votes in approximately 34 hours during the semifinals to wind up 17th.
The Elite 89 award is presented by the NCAA to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA’s 89 championships. With his 3.947 GPA at the time in mechanical engineering, Calkins earned the distinction for Division II men's swimming and diving in Geneva, Ohio, in March.
Calkins, later the recipient of the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, completed his undergraduate degree as a student at UCSD's Warren College last month. The native of Kansas City, Kan. (Shawnee Mission North HS), is working at Cymer in Rancho Bernardo with an eye toward using that scholarship for future graduate study. Calkins was a one-time All-American and three-time Capital One Academic All-American for his distinguished career.