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2001 NCAA Woman of the Year

Kimberly A. Black, University of Georgia

 

Woman of the Year continues to draw from Georgia talent pool

The NCAA News, November 5, 2001

 

By Kay Hawes

Kimberly A. Black, 2001 NCAA Woman of the Year

It's becoming a tradition at the University of Georgia. When Georgia swimmer Kimberly A. Black was chosen October 21 as the 2001 NCAA Woman of the Year, it made two winners in a row for the university and also marked the third time in 11 years that a Lady Bulldog from the swim team has taken home the title.

The NCAA Woman of the Year award honors academic and athletics excellence, as well as community service and leadership. Each year the slate of candidates is full of Rhodes Scholar finalists, national champions and tireless volunteers -- often all in the same person.

The latest Woman of the Year from this impressive group had equally stellar credentials. A biology major with a near-perfect grade-point average, Black also was the female winner of the NCAA Walter Byers Scholarship, the highest academic honor given by the Association. A Phi Beta Kappa who has won numerous other academic accolades, Black hopes to serve a stint in South America in the Peace Corps before enrolling in medical school, where she plans to pursue a career in pediatric medicine.

Black also was a member of the gold-medal-winning 800-meter freestyle relay team in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. Black also competed in the World University Games this summer in Beijing, where she was a member of the 800-meter freestyle relay team that also won a gold medal. A four-time all-American, Black helped the Lady Bulldogs to their third straight NCAA championship and fifth consecutive Southeastern Conference title in 2001.

An active participant in a mentoring program and also a volunteer at schools and hospitals, Black won the 2001 Peach of an Athlete Award given by the Atlanta Boy Scouts of America for her volunteer work. She also won the inaugural Georgia Athletic Association Community Service Award, given to the student-athlete at Georgia selected for outstanding commitment to community service.

Stars of tomorrow

Black accepted the award at the 11th annual NCAA Woman of the Year awards dinner October 21 in Indianapolis.

Among those welcoming attendees were NCAA President Cedric W. Dempsey and Judy Sweet, NCAA senior woman administrator and vice-president for championships.

Sweet reminded the audience that 20 years ago, as these 51 finalists were learning to walk and talk, the NCAA was conducting women's championships for the first time.

"The advent of women's championships within the NCAA structure made 1981 an exciting, challenging and memorable year," Sweet said. "We were looking forward to new opportunities and visibility for female athletes in their journey to NCAA championships and the resulting celebrations, like ours tonight.

"We will take this year to reflect on the great strides we have made to give tonight's honorees, their teammates, coaches and rivals the support for developing their talents and the stage to display them."

Robin Roberts, sports commentator from ESPN and ABC, served as master of ceremonies for the 11th year. Roberts was joined this year by Nell Fortner, head coach and general manager of the WNBA's Indiana Fever.

All 51 of the state finalists are invited to the dinner and introduced to those in attendance, with the 10 finalists introduced by videos highlighting their accomplishments.

The state finalists included a 15-time all-American track star, a volunteer who helped Burmese refugees, a national champion pole vaulter with a perfect grade-point average in molecular biology, several women currently playing professional basketball overseas and a Rhodes Scholar finalist who starred in three sports at her school. There were future teachers, doctors, lawyers, businesswomen and even one aspiring FBI agent.

The winner of the Woman of the Year remains a secret until after all the state finalists are introduced at the dinner. Marilyn McNeil, chair of the NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics, which selects the winner from the 10 finalists once they are chosen from the 51 by another selection committee, made the announcement.

"I don't know how they could choose just one of us," Black said as she accepted, noting the numerous accomplishments of the top 10 finalists. "It's been really inspiring for me to be here and meet so many wonderful people."

'Never stop striving'

Black recalled her experiences as she began to swim at age 8, when her small stature and inefficient stroke made the prospect of pursuing the sport unlikely at best.

"I had a coach tell me that I was one of the least efficient people he had ever seen in the water, and now, at still just 5-6, I've always been pretty short for my sport. But I want the children in the audience here, especially ones here with host families or here because of their participation in the sports spectacular, to know that you can do anything you want if you stick to it long enough and never stop striving."

Black missed making the 1996 Olympic team by only a hundredth of a second. In 2000, she made the team by the same slim margin.

Black encouraged young people to pursue sports to round out their experiences in life.

"Choose something you love," she said, "and you can't lose no matter what. You will meet great people and you will have great experiences."

Black counts her volunteer experience mentoring a girl named Abigail as something that's been beneficial to them both.

"I think of her as a little sister. I was very blessed growing up to have a role model, my brother who is three years older than me. In many ways, I am now Abigail's role model and I can see a direct impact that mentoring has on her," Black said.

"When I began mentoring her, I also didn't realize how much of an effect it would have on me. I am from Syracuse, New York, and Abigail's family has adopted me and made me feel at home in Georgia."

Black credited her coach, Georgia's Jack Bauerle, with setting the right tone for student-athletes at the school.

"Time management is very important, but Jack has always stressed academics," she said. "I think he was just as excited about me winning the Walter Byers Scholarship as he was about me making the Olympic team. That kind of a commitment from a coach really makes a difference."

An edited version of the awards dinner will be shown on ESPN December 11 at 2:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

Last year's national winner was Kristy Kowal, an all-American swimmer and 2000 Olympic silver medalist from Georgia. The first winner from Georgia was the late Lisa Ann Coole, also a swimmer, who won the award in 1997 but was killed in a traffic accident the following year.

Other previous winners are: 1999 -- Jamila Demby, track and field, the University of California, Davis; 1998 -- Peggy Boutilier, lacrosse and field hockey, University of Virginia; 1996 -- Billie Winsett-Fletcher, volleyball, University of Nebraska, Lincoln; 1995 -- Rebecca Lobo, basketball, University of Connecticut; 1994 -- Tanya Jones, track and field, University of Arizona; 1993 --Nnenna Lynch, track and cross country, Villanova University; 1992 -- Catherine Byrne, swimming and diving, University of Tennessee, Knoxville; and 1991 -- Mary Beth Riley, track and field, Canisius College.

 

Finalists:

Woman of the Year finalists exemplify award's attributes

The NCAA News, September 24, 2001

 

Ten finalists have been selected for the 2001 NCAA Woman of the Year award, which recognizes young women for their outstanding achievement in athletics, academics and community service.

The 10 finalists are: Kimberly A. Black, University of Georgia --swimming and diving; Camille Cooper, Purdue University -- basketball; Andrea Dutoit, University of Arizona -- cross country and indoor and outdoor track and field; Kameelah Taliah Elarms, University of California, Davis -- indoor and outdoor track and field; Kristen English, Swarthmore College -- field hockey, basketball and lacrosse; K. Elizabeth Flynt Asti, University of Tennessee, Knoxville -- swimming and diving; Sunny Gilbert, University of Missouri, Columbia -- cross country and indoor and outdoor track and field; Angie Oxley, University of Nebraska, Lincoln -- volleyball; Claire Cunanan Reyes, Longwood College -- field hockey and softball.

The winner will be announced at the annual Woman of the Year awards dinner October 21 at the Indiana Roof Ballroom in Indianapolis.

Following are some of the accomplishments of the 10 finalists .

Kimberly A. Black
University of Georgia
Swimming and diving

  • Member of the Olympic gold-medal-winning 200-meter freestyle relay team.
  • Four-time NCAA all-American and member of Georgia's national championship team.
  • Winner of four gold medals and a silver medal at the World University Games.
  • Recipient of an NCAA Walter Byers Scholarship, the highest academic honor bestowed by the Association.
  • Awarded the Joy Williams Science Award as the top female science honors student at Georgia.
  • Southeastern Conference Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete of the Year for 2001.
  • Inaugural winner of the Georgia Athletic Association Community Services Award, given to a student who dedicates time to volunteer work.
  • Recipient of 2001 Peach-of-an-Athlete Award, given by the Atlanta Boy Scouts of America for volunteer work.

Camille Cooper
Purdue University
Basketball

  • Member of the Division I Women's Basketball Championship team in 1999 and the runner-up team in 2001.
  • Starter for Purdue teams that were two-time Big Ten Conference champions and three-time Big Ten tournament champions.
  • Earned honorable mention all-American designation as a senior, as well as first-team all-Big Ten honors.
  • Political science major and member of Phi Beta Kappa.
  • Three-time academic all-Big Ten and a Verizon Academic All-American.
  • Coordinated the Tiffany Young Celebrity Basketball Game, a benefit for a youth center in her late teammate's honor.
  • Walked horses carrying disabled children, collected and served food for needy families and volunteered at basketball clinics and with the Girl Scouts.

Andrea Dutoit
University of Arizona
Indoor/outdoor track and field, cross country

  • 2001 Division I women's pole vault champion.
  • Named 2000 Raytheon Sportswoman of the Year.
  • Three-time all-American, competed in 2000 U.S. Olympic trials.
  • Selected as Arizona's most outstanding female student-athlete.
  • Graduated summa cum laude as the University of Arizona School of Health Professions Outstanding Graduating Senior.
  • A molecular and cellular biology major and recipient of Arizona Flinn Scholarship and Regents Scholarship.
  • Volunteered with Make-a-Wish Foundation, Tucson Women's Shelter, Adopt-a-Highway Program and the Boys & Girls Club.
  • Camp counselor for underprivileged children in Tucson.

Kameelah Taliah Elarms
University of California, Davis
Indoor/outdoor track and field

  • Twelve-time indoor and outdoor track and field all-American.
  • Six-time first-team all-conference selection.
  • Served on campus student-athlete advisory committee.
  • California Collegiate Athletic Conference Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
  • Member of the Verizon Academic All-District team and the Golden Key National Honor Society.
  • Winner of UC Davis Outstanding Leadership Award.
  • Served as coordinator of volunteers for Shriner's Hospital event, and volunteered as camp counselor and peer counselor.

Kristen English
Swarthmore College
Field hockey, basketball, lacrosse

  • Captained three different athletics teams for two years.
  • Division III Defender of the Year in lacrosse.
  • USILA all-American and all-conference selection.
  • Conference player of the year in field hockey, and a National Field Hockey Coaches Association all-American.
  • Recipient of Swarthmore's Gladys Irish Award, given to the senior woman who has best combined devotion to excellence in athletics performance with qualities of strong leadership.
  • A Rhodes Scholarship finalist, as well as a Verizon Academic All-American in field hockey and lacrosse.
  • Founder of the Kiddie Cafe, a lunch and activity program for preschoolers.
  • Founding director and coach at several summer camps and clinics for girls.

K. Elizabeth Flynt Asti
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Swimming and diving

  • Five-time all-American diver and two-time NCAA champion.
  • Three-time conference silver medalist in platform diving and holder of platform-diving records at Tennessee.
  • Member of the USA Diving Senior National team who competed at the 2000 Olympic trials.
  • Verizon Academic All-American and all-Southeastern Conference pick.
  • Named the Lady Vol Academic Achiever for 2001 and also a member of the Golden Key National Honor Society.
  • Graduated in biochemistry and cellular and molecular biology with a nearly perfect grade-point average.
  • Volunteered at the Hope Pregnancy Resource left, participated in Cooks for Christ and led the Athletes in Action prayer team.

Sunny Gilbert

University of Missouri, Columbia
Cross country, indoor/outdoor track and field

  • 2001 Division I women's indoor champion in the distance medley relay.
  • Finished 11th in the 800-meter run at the outdoor championships in 2000 and was the Drake Relays Champion in the 800-meter relay.
  • NCAA postgraduate scholarship recipient.
  • Granted a Bright Flight scholarship, a Curator's scholarship and a Howard Hughes fellowship for research in biochemistry.
  • Big 12 Conference all-academic first-team selection for cross country and indoor and outdoor track and field.
  • Recipient of Natasha Kaiser-Brown Outstanding Female Athlete Award and also chosen for the U.S. Track Coaches Association academic all-American indoor and outdoor track and field teams.
  • Volunteered for Big Brothers, Big Sisters and as a camp counselor.

Angie Oxley
University of Nebraska, Lincoln
Volleyball

  • Starting outside hitter for the Division I women's championship team in 2000.
  • First- and second-team all-Big 12 selection.
  • Tri-captain for Nebraska's Big 12 Conference championship teams from 1998 to 2000.
  • Selected as the university's female student-athlete of the year.
  • Four-time academic all-Big 12 selection and two-time GTE Academic All-District pick.
  • Chancellor's Scholar and four-time winner of< the Highest Honors Distinction Medal.
  • Volunteered with Aid to the Blind, served as a speaker for the Husker Outreach program, as a counselor and coach for YMCA volleyball leagues and also participated in the E-mail Pals Program with the Lincoln public schools.

Claire Cunanan Reyes
Longwood College
Field hockey

 

  • Helped lead Longwood to a conference championship in 2000.
  • Named her team's most valuable player; also chosen for the Longwood field hockey coach's award.
  • Two-time National Field Hockey Coaches Association all-American.
  • All-NFHA academic pick and academic all-conference selection.
  • GTE Academic All-District selection and member of Alpha Lambda Delta, Delta Psi Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi.
  • Volunteered in the physical therapy department at local hospitals and clinics, and volunteered with preschool children.

Toby Wilmet
Washington College (Maryland)
Field hockey, softball

  • Two-sport team captain.
  • All-American field hockey goalie.
  • Named all-conference in both field hockey and softball.
  • Recipient of the Washington College Senior Athletics Award.
  • NCAA postgraduate scholarship recipient; graduated magna cum laude in art and humanities.
  • GTE Regional Academic All-American and three-time member of the National Field Hockey Coaches Association all-academic team.
  • Volunteered at a South African shelter, coordinated Student-Athlete Mentors at Washington and also volunteered with campus clean-up efforts

 

State Winners:

State winners selected for 2001 Woman of the Year award

The NCAA News, August 27, 2001

The NCAA has announced the Woman of the Year state winners for 2001. There were 51 chosen, one representing each state and the District of Columbia.

The NCAA Woman of the Year Award honors outstanding female student-athletes who have excelled in academics, athletics and community leadership.

The state winners this year represent 14 sports, with 29 student-athletes chosen from Division I, nine from Division II and 13 from Division III.

Each member institution was invited to submit a nominee. For the second year, schools were permitted to nominate two candidates if one of the candidates was an ethnic minority, and 28 institutions did so, up from 16 last year.

This year, 350 student-athletes were nominated, with 189 nominated from Division I, 41 from Division II and 120 from Division III.

A committee composed of representatives from member schools selected the state winners, and that same committee will select 10 finalists from among those winners. Selections are based on grade-point averages, athletics achievements and community service.

The 10 finalists will be announced in the September 10 issue of The NCAA News.

A national winner will be selected by the NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics from among the 10 finalists. That winner will be announced at the 2001 NCAA Woman of the Year dinner, presented by Rawlings, October 21 at the Indiana Roof Ballroom in Indianapolis. The theme for this year's event is "The stars of tomorrow."

Last year's national winner was Kristy Kowal, an all-American swimmer and Olympic silver medalist from the University of Georgia.

Other previous winners are: 1999 -- Jamila Demby, track and field, the University of California, Davis; 1998 -- Peggy Boutilier, lacrosse and field hockey, University of Virginia; 1997 -- the late Lisa Ann Coole, swimming and diving, University of Georgia; 1996 -- Billie Winsett-Fletcher, volleyball, University of Nebraska, Lincoln; 1995 -- Rebecca Lobo, basketball, University of Connecticut; 1994 -- Tanya Jones, track and field, University of Arizona; 1993 --Nnenna Lynch, track and cross country, Villanova University; 1992 -- Catherine Byrne, swimming and diving, University of Tennessee, Knoxville; and 1991 -- Mary Beth Riley, track and field, Canisius College.


 

State

State winner

Institution

Sport(s)

Alabama

Wendi Olivia Wilcox

Samford University

Basketball

Alaska

Melissa Mulloy

University of Alaska Fairbanks

Rifle

Arizona

Andrea Dutoit

University of Arizona

Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field

Arkansas

Amy Yoder Begley

University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

Cross Country, Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field

California

Kameelah Taliah Elarms

University of California, Davis

Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field

Colorado

Sarah Meyer

Adams State College

Cross Country, Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field

Connecticut

Amy Herz

University of Connecticut

Field Hockey

Delaware

Cindy Johnson

University of Delaware

Basketball

District of Columbia

Bowen Holden

Georgetown University

Lacrosse

Florida

Sarah Kureshi

University of Central Florida

Cross Country, Outdoor Track and Field

Georgia

Kimberly A. Black

University of Georgia

Swimming and Diving

Hawaii

Camille Kalama

University of Hawaii, Manoa

Soccer

Idaho

Annie Marie Kaus

Boise State University

Gymnastics

Illinois

Alison Grubbs

Lake Forest College

Basketball

Indiana

Camille Cooper

Purdue University

Basketball

Iowa

Candace Wilson

Central College (Iowa)

Volleyball, Basketball

Kansas

Emily Bloss

Emporia State University

Basketball, Outdoor Track and Field

Kentucky

Taryn Lewis

University of Kentucky

Rifle

Louisiana

Katherine Harris

Louisiana State University

Golf

Maine

Margaret Ficks

Bates College

Field Hockey, Softball

Maryland

Toby Wilmet

Washington College (Maryland)

Field Hockey, Softball

Massachusetts

Shannon Lynn Smith

Boston College

Cross Country, Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field

Michigan

Danielle Pease

Alma College

Softball

Minnesota

Jill Hocking

St. Mary's University of Minnesota

Softball

Mississippi

Jamie Sims

University of Southern Mississippi

Golf

Missouri

Sunny Gilbert

University of Missouri, Columbia

Cross Country, Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field

Montana

Natalie R. Hiller

University of Montana

Soccer

Nebraska

Angie Oxley

University of Nebraska, Lincoln

Volleyball

Nevada

Katie Barto

University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field, Cross Country

New Hampshire

Erin Dromgoole

Dartmouth College

Cross Country, Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field

New Jersey

Tiffany Trockenbrod

The College of New Jersey

Field Hockey, Lacrosse

New Mexico

Jennifer Harrer

Eastern New Mexico University

Softball

New York

Bess Greenberg

State University of New York at Binghamton

Basketball

North Carolina

Mary Jayne Harrelson

Appalachian State University

Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field, Cross Country

North Dakota

Rebekah Leppard

University of North Dakota

Indoor Track and Field

Ohio

Tammy Venema

Wilmington College (Ohio)

Soccer

Oklahoma

Janel Hayes

University of Oklahoma

Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field

Oregon

Amber Larsen

Linfield College

Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field, Cross Country

Pennsylvania

Kristen English

Swarthmore College

Lacrosse, Field Hockey, Basketball

Rhode Island

Jessica Arrighi

Rhode Island College

Volleyball

South Carolina

C. Brooke Weisbrod

Coastal Carolina University

Basketball

South Dakota

Jenny Hill

Augustana College (South Dakota)

Softball

Tennessee

K. Elizabeth Flynt

University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Swimming and Diving

Texas

Kerry O'Bric

Baylor University

Outdoor Track and Field

Utah

Amy Ewert

University of Utah

Basketball

Vermont

Michelle Labbe

Middlebury College

Ice Hockey

Virginia

Claire Cunanan Reyes

Longwood College

Field Hockey

Washington

Anna Aoki

University of Washington

Outdoor Track and Field, Cross Country

West Virginia

Rebecca Kathryn Stallwood

West Virginia University

Cross Country, Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field

Wisconsin

Tina Basten

University of Wisconsin, La Crosse

Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field, Cross Country

Wyoming

Davina Strauss

University of Wyoming

Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field