BATES AWARDS: BYU swimmer Byron Shefchik and Fresno State soccer player Christina Bell have been named the recipients of the 1997-98 Western Athletic Conference Stan Bates Awards.
The awards, given annually to the WAC's top male and female senior scholar-athletes, are named for the former league commissioner and are based on an individual's athletic ability and academic accomplishment. Each winner will receive a $2,000 postgraduate scholarship.
Shefchik, a native of American Fork, began his BYU swimming career as an unrecruited walk-on. He finished his BYU career as a team captain and a four-year varsity letterman. The six-time All-American, who is currently ranked in the 100- and 200-meter breaststroke, was a silver medalist in the 200-meter breaststroke at the 1998 U.S. National Championships and a bronze medalist in the same event at the World University Games.
A four-time WAC champion, Shefchik set the WAC and BYU records in both breaststroke events. He graduated with a cumulative grade point average of 3.76 in pre-physical therapy. He also served as the sub-committee chairman for the BYU student-athlete advisory council and is currently organizing a not-for-profit organization designed to use elite athletes as motivational speakers in elementary schools.
Bell, a native of Santa Rosa, Calif., graduated cum laude from Fresno State with a degree in psychology. On the field she was a two-year starter for the Bulldogs, and the team's second leading scorer (21 points) as a senior.