Diver Erin Mertz Wins Chick-fil-A Community of Champions Award

Feb. 19, 2009


Kansas sophomore diver Erin Mertz was recently named the winner of the Winter Community of Champions award, presented by the Big 12 Conference and Chick-fil-A restaurants. Mertz won the award for her involvement with the Kansas Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and the Special Olympics.

“When I heard that I had won the award I felt very privileged,” said Mertz. “I have never received an award like this before. I never really thought that what I was doing was benefitting very many people, but now that I reflect back, I realize that it was. I’m just happy that I was able to help people in my community.”

During each term, one student-athlete from each Big 12 member school is honored. The criterion for winning the award is threefold.

First, an academic standard of a 3.00 grade point average or higher must be maintained. Secondly, the student-athlete should be involved with at least one community service program that is organized on campus or within the athletic department. Lastly, the student-athlete must demonstrate leadership and sportsmanship on and off the field.

Award winners will earn $3,000 for their institution.

“Erin is very energetic and loves to help others in the community,” said diving coach Eric Elliott. “Erin leads in the pool with her hard work and her desire to improve. She will be a valuable asset to any community she settles into after her college career.”

Mertz in addition to being a community champion, is one of the top divers in the Big 12. She has KU’s top diving scores in all three events this season. Her personal best score is 325.20 on the three meter board.