The Process

Each application is carefully reviewed by our selection committee. The applications are scored separately by the committee members, and the applicant with the highest collective score receives the scholarship.

QUALIFIERS: High school swimmers moving on to college

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The applicants will be asked to submit a written request for an award, and the scored categories will be:

  • Leadership in the pool and elsewhere
  • Academics
  • Commitment to swimming
  • Inclusive, brings others along
  • Honesty and Integrity

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Melissa Belote was born in Washington, D.C. She grew up in Springfield, Virginia, was a member of the Springfield Swim and Racquet Club, and attended Robert E. Lee High School in Fairfax County, Virginia. Melissa was committed to swimming and demonstrated a tremendous work ethic.

At 15 years old, she won three gold medals at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany. In the women's 100-meter backstroke, Belote defeated her American teammate and world-record holder Susie Atwood. In the women's 200-meter backstroke, Belote set a new world record of 2:19.19. She won a third gold medal by swimming the lead-off Backstroke leg for the winning U.S. team in the women's 4×100-meter medley relay. She and her teammates Cathy Carr (Breaststroke), Deena Deardurff (Butterfly), and Sandy Neilson (Freestyle) set a new world record of 4:20.75 in the relay final.

She attended Arizona State University, where she swam for the Arizona State Sun Devils swimming and diving team in Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) competition. She received the Honda Sports Award for Swimming and Diving, recognizing her as the outstanding college female swimmer of the year in 1976–77.

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Melissa after the1972 Summer Olympic Games in Munich, Germany.

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