Connelly, Thetford deemed CSCAA Scholar All-Americans

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NORFOLK, Va. – The College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) announced its 2018 Men's Scholar All-Americans on Wednesday and Washington and Lee had two swimmers named to the First Team.

The CSCAA selected a record 1,069 swimmers and divers for its Scholar All-America team. The award recognizes students that have achieved a grade point average of 3.50 or higher and competed at their respective NCAA/NAIA/NJCAA Swimming and Diving Championships.

Seniors Corey Connelly (Belleair, Fla./Palm Harbor University) and Tommy Thetford (Birmingham, Ala./The Altamont) secured the honor, the first time Connelly has been recognized and the third time Thetford has received the accolade.

An economics major, Connelly posted strong performances at the 2018 Old Dominion Athletic Conference Championships with third-place finishes in the 50 free (21.41), 100 free (46.90) and 200 free (1:42.46). He was also part of the winning 200 free relay (1:21.86), 400 medley relay (3:26.78) and 800 free relay (7:02.26). The time of 1:21.86 in the 200 free relay was an NCAA "B" cut time and set a new meet record. Connelly was named to the All-ODAC second team three times in his career and garnered First Team All-ODAC recognition once.

Connelly also competed at the 2018 NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championships where he earned three Honorable Mention All-America honors with ninth-place efforts in the 400 free relay (3:01.77) and the 800 free relay (6:41.18) to go along with a 13th-place showing in the 200 free relay (1:22.64).

A mathematics major, Thetford earned a total of 10 All-America citations in men's swimming, including six First Team All-America laurels, and is one of just two athletes in school history to have claimed two individual National Championships. He currently holds the school record in the 50 free (19.65), 100 free (43.41) and 200 free (1:36.87), and he is a member of the school record-holding 400 medley relay (3:23.90), 400 free relay (3:01.77) and 800 free relay (6:41.18) teams.

Thetford, a three-time Academic All-America selection, is a 23-time ODAC champion (10 individual, 13 relays), a four-time First Team All-ODAC honoree, a two-time ODAC Swimmer of the Meet and a two-time ODAC/Virginia Farm Bureau Insurance Men's Swimming Scholar-Athlete of the Year. He was also named the ODAC Rookie of the Year in 2015.

As a sophomore, Thetford won the NCAA Division III Championship in the 100 free (43.41) and the 200 free (1:36.87) and was second in the 50 free (19.65). He competed in the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials in the 50-meter freestyle, finishing in a tie for 66th out of 165 competitors with a time of 23.20.

The Generals earned team Scholar All-America honors from the CSCAA after the team combined to post a 3.39 grade-point average. Connelly and Thetford helped the Generals to a 13th-place finish at the 2018 NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championships, the team's highest finish since coming in eighth in 2008, as well as the program's fourth consecutive ODAC championship.

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