Wellesley Celebrates a Three-Time National Champion Student-Athlete and an Athletic Director of the Year
Wellesley Blue fans have much to cheer about this season: Maura Sticco-Ivins ’18 won the national championship in 3-meter diving at the 2017 NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championships on Wednesday, March 15, making her the first two-time NCAA national champion in Wellesley’s history. Earlier this month, Wellesley Director of Athletics Bridget Belgiovine was honored by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) as one of the recipients of the Under Armour AD (Athletic Director) of the Year Award.
Sticco-Ivins claimed her first NCAA Division III national championship as a first-year in 2015, also on the 3-meter board, and captured the runner-up slot in 2016. She is set to compete for her first career women’s 1-meter diving national championship March 17 as the 2017 competition continues at Conroe ISD Natatorium in Shenandoah, Texas.
Update: After the Daily Shot was published on Friday, March 17, Sticco-Ivins won the 1-meter competition with a score of 475.40, distinguishing her as only three-time national champion in Wellesley history.
Wellesley Blue diving coach Jack Lewis cites Sticco-Ivins’ commitment as key to her success. “Consistency is what moves you up in the rankings,” he said. “Her practice day in and day out consists of practicing minuscule details to make the dives the best they can be. She is extremely detail-oriented and wants to get better and better each day.”
That commitment is evident throughout Wellesley’s athletic program, and is one of the reasons Belgiovine was selected for an NACDA Under Armour AD of the Year Award. According to NACDA’s website, the program was created “to honor intercollegiate directors of athletics for their commitment and administrative excellence within a campus and/or college community environment.” The award spans seven divisions and annually honors 28 athletics directors (four from each division).
“Bridget embodies all that is good about NCAA Division III,” said Patrick Summers, executive director of the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC). “I’ve had the opportunity to work with Bridget in different capacities over the past 20 years, including most recently when she served as NEWMAC president from 2013 to 2015. Her dedication to and passion for the well-being of student-athletes is unchallenged. She is one of the most respected administrators in the country, and she continues to leave her mark and impact wherever she goes and in whatever she does. It is simply an honor to have worked with and beside her.”
“All of us in Wellesley’s Blue Nation are thrilled by this well-deserved recognition of Bridget Belgiovine’s exceptional leadership,” said Andrew Shennan, provost and dean of Wellesley College. “In her 10 years as our AD, Bridget has had a truly transformational impact—boosting the quality of Wellesley’s athletic programs, dramatically increasing participation in recreational sports and fitness, and championing the cause of student wellness across our campus.”
Belgiovine oversees all facets of an athletics department that also includes a physical education curriculum serving nearly 2,000 students each year, and a recreation program that offers such varied options as dorm and class crew, aerobics and Pilates classes, and fun runs. Her mission is to integrate the department and its programs more fully into the life of the College, stressing the importance of fitness and health in a strong liberal arts education.
Fans can learn more about Wellesley’s Department of Physical Education, Recreation, and Athletics (PERA) and follow athletics schedules and records at wellesleyblue.com. Go Blue!