A fair share of star athletes have come through Clarion University.
The concourse in Waldo S. Tippin Gymnasium is lined with athletes who have made a big impact on Clarion athletics.
Athletes such as Pete Vuckovich, Kurt Angle and Reggie Wells Jr. are just a few that have represented Clarion University and had success doing it after their time at the institution was done.
Former Golden Eagle diver Kristin Day is the newest athlete to add to that list of top Clarion University athletes.
She was an eight-time All-American and a three-time National Champion.
Day set an NCAA record in 2015 on the 3-meter dive with a score of 539.35 points.
However, her success did not end when she climbed out of the pool.
Day compiled a 4.0 GPA over her time at Clarion while studying chemistry.
However, her most prestigious award may have come in the past week.
Day was named the 2015 NCAA Woman of the Year.
The award, which was first given out in 1991, is given to a female student athlete who has had success in their respective sport, in the classroom and also has given a lot of time to community service.
Day was the first athlete from Pennsylvania to receive this award and only the fourth Division II athlete.
“It truly is an amazing honor to be able to represent Pennsylvania and Division II. All of the women in the top 30 were so incredible, it was a great experience to be able to meet all of them and be around such phenomenal people. All in all, I feel very humbled to be able to receive this award and represent so many influential people,” Day said.
This is not the only award Day has received this year.
Day also received the PSAC Pete Nevins Scholar Athlete of the Year and the Capital One NCAA Division II All American of the Year.
Notice how a lot of the awards that Day has received have come from her efforts in the classroom and not in the pool.
Balancing academics and athletics is a challenge for student athletes, especially at this level.
Day insisted that she kept her priorities straight and did not let an off day affect her.
“The biggest challenge for me was to not let a bad day at school affect my diving, or vice versa. I always had high expectations for myself in both the classroom and on the boards, so trying to stay positive in a rough patch was my hardest times. The support of my family, friends, teammates and coach helped me to overcome these hard times though,” Day said.
With all these recognitions, Day has been receiving a lot of attention from the local media outlets.
However, even with the struggles of attending medical school, Day still appreciates all of the people who are willing to talk to her.
“The time after receiving this award has been very rewarding to know that so many people are recognizing my achievements and hard work. It has also made me realize how many people support and care about me and my accomplishments,” Day said.
Day gave a lot of the credit to her Clarion family such as her coach, teammates, professors and friends.
“My coach is truly the most amazing man, he has pushed me and prepared me in so many ways that I did not even know were possible. I attribute all of my diving success to him. My teammates, friends and professors were also very supportive and helped me in every way possible to succeed in all that I did” Day said.
Not only did her Clarion family have an effect on her, but also her teammates and coaches have a lot to credit Day for their success.
“Kristin helped me become more successful by helping me to believe in myself. If I ever had a bad practice, she was always there to make me laugh. Nationals is a crazy and fun time for our whole team. Kristin did a great job of showing me, and our other teammate Lauren Slayton, how to be calm during high pressure situations,” Day’s former teammate Sarah Zerfoss said.
Day attends Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine and is on a NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship.