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DURHAM, N.C. -- Three-time NCAA Champion Becca Ward became the Duke fencing program's first Academic All-America first team selection on Thursday when she appeared on the Capital One Academic All-America Women's At-Large team.

Ward won the 2009, 2011 and 2012 NCAA Women's Saber Championships and also took second place in the 2010 NCAA final. A four-time All-America selection, she is the first Duke women's fencer to earn Academic All-America honors and the first Duke fencer to receive first team recognition. She graduated with a 3.52 grade point average as a public policy major.

A bronze medalist at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China, Ward leaves Duke University as one of the most decorated student-athletes in school history. The Academic All-America first team selection is the latest in a number of accolades for the Portland, Ore., native, adding to a list that includes NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship recipient, ACC Postgraduate Scholarship recipient, two CoSIDA Academic All-District III citations and the honor of Duke Female Student-Athlete of the Year.

Ward finished her four-year Duke career with a 272-7 (.975) record, setting the program record for career wins and wins in a season. During her four years in Durham, she took the Duke fencing program to new heights, leading the Blue Devils to a 10th-place NCAA finish in 2010, ninth place in 2011 and ninth place again in 2012 for the program's first top-10 finishes. Additionally, the Duke women's fencing team set school wins records during her final three years and cracked the USFCA Coaches Poll Top-10 this season.

Along with Ward, Duke men's lacrosse player CJ Costabile and women's swimmer Jessica Lyden also earned Academic All-America At-Large nods. Lyden also appeared on the women's first team while Costabile earned a spot on the men's third team.

-d-u-k-e-


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