PHILADELPHIA – Senior Paul Shay, team captain of the University of Pennsylvania men's lightweight rowing team, was selected as the 2011 Philadelphia Inquirer Academic All-Area Men’s Crew Performer of the Year on Monday. The Academic All-Area team, which includes both the city's heavyweight and lightweight rowers, was voted on by the Philadelphia metropolitan area’s 28 sports information offices.
In order to be eligible for Academic All-Area, an athlete must be at least in his or her second year at the institution and hold a cumulative grade point average of 3.20 or better.
Shay, a two-time Academic All-Area selection, helped the Quakers climb as high as eighth in the national rankings this year. A team captain and member of the Varsity 8, Shay helped lead the Quakers to a ninth-place finish at EARC Sprints in May. A year prior, as commodore, he helped the Red and Blue to its best finish at Sprints since 2005 and to the program's first appearance at IRA’s in three years.
In the classroom, Shay has been nearly perfect. He maintained a 4.0 GPA as a biology major at the Ivy League institution for much of his first four years and currently owns a 3.97 GPA with medical school aspirations.
Drexel placed three rowers on the 2010-11 Academic All-Area team: Lorenzo Albala, Randall Lee and Jacob Sloan. St. Joseph’s (Matt Benedetto and Sean Stewart), Temple (Nick Contino and John Masterson) and Penn (Shay and Grant Wilson) each had two rowers make the team.