Duke fencing star Becca Ward has been selected as the ACC’s female athlete of the 2011-12 school year.
The 23rd winner of the Mary Garber Award for the top league female athlete, Ward is the first ever to win in a sport outside of ACC championship certification and administration.
Boston College football standout Luke Kuechly won the 59th Anthony Kevlin Award as the top male athlete for the year. Anthony McKevlin was a sports editor of The News & Observer.
The awards are voted on annually by members of the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association (ACSMA).
Kuechly, picked in the NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers, is the the first McKevlin recipient cited exclusively for defensive play in football.
Kuechly received 13 votes from the 31-member electorate. Florida State baseball player James Ramsey was second with seven votes. The last football winner was N.C.. State’s Philip Rivers in 2004.
Ward won the gold medal in sabre at the 2006 World Fencing Championships and took the bronze at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
She is the first woman ever to win the NCAA title three times in sabre but did make the USA team for the London Games.