May 29, 2013
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Former University of Michigan women's gymnast Katie Zurales (2010-13) was awarded an NCAA postgraduate scholarship on May 21. She is the second women's gymnast at Michigan to receive an NCAA postgraduate scholarship, joining Janessa Grieco in 2003.
At the end of the 2012-13 academic year, the NCAA will have distributed 174 postgraduate scholarships to fall, winter and spring recipients, each valued at $7,500. To qualify, student-athletes must excel academically and athletically, be in their final year of eligibility and plan to pursue graduate study. Student-athletes must also maintain at least a 3.2 grade-point average and be nominated by their institution's faculty athletics representative. Zurales will conclude her undergraduate studies at Michigan in August and will be applying to medical school this summer.
"It really means a lot to me," Zurales said. "Michigan has set me up so well for the future and has given me so much. I'm just happy to be able to use what I've learned over my last four years and apply it to my goals. It's an honor to be able to represent the university with this."
"Katie is an impressively motivated and successful student who maximized the academic opportunities available to her at Michigan within the constraints imposed by the training and competition schedule of an elite student-athlete," said faculty athletics representative Anne Curzan. "She's been an inspiring leader on her team, and she has found a personal and professional passion in osteopathic medicine. I know Katie will take the knowledge and the many skills that she has acquired at Michigan and apply them to great ends in medical school and beyond."
"I'm very excited and happy for Katie," U-M head coach Bev Plocki said. "She's worked incredibly hard at both her academics and her athletics. She's such an all-around, well-balanced, mature young woman. It's great to see her get an honor like this that will help her get to medical school."
Zurales was a seven-time NCAA All-American during her four-year career, with four of those honors this year. At the 2013 NCAA Championships last month in Los Angeles, Calif., Zurales was national runner-up on balance beam and also tied for third in the all-around, earning first team honors in both events while leading the Wolverines to a seventh-place finish nationally. She was also a Big Ten champion (vault), an NCAA Regional champion (balance beam) and a finalist for the 2013 AAI Award, given annually to the nation's top senior women's gymnast. Zurales has also earned several academic merits, including three Academic All-Big Ten honors and soon-to-be four NACGC/W Scholastic All-America nods.
She has been the recipient of several awards and honors this season. Earlier this month, she was selected as an American Kinesiology Association (AKA) National Undergraduate Scholar, given to students who demonstrated an exceptional interest in the field of kinesiology by undertaking independent or guided research, assuming leadership positions and volunteering to serve in various kinesiology-related endeavors. A native of Wheaton, Ill., she was also awarded the Ernest T. Sigler Award from the U-M Club of Greater Chicago, given annually to the most outstanding varsity men's and women's student-athletes from the greater Chicago area. Zurales was also honored at Bob Ufer Quarterback Club Banquet, which recognizes the combination of academic standing, sportsmanship and athletic excellence from 10 senior student-athletes at the University of Michigan. In addition, she was the school's female recipient of the 2013 Big Ten Medal of Honor and was the school's nominee for the NCAA Woman of the Year Award.
Contact: Brad Rudner (734) 763-4423