Woman of the Year

2007 NCAA Woman of the Year Top 30
2007 NCAA Woman of the Year

 

Arizona's Myers picked as Woman of the Year

By Leilana McKindra
The NCAA News, November 5, 2007

Whitney Myers, 2007 NCAA Woman of the Year

Former University of Arizona swimmer Whitney Myers reacts to being named the 2007 NCAA Woman of the Year. Myers is the second recipient from Arizona and the fifth swimmer to earn the award. Trevor Brown Jr./NCAA Photos.

Former University of Arizona swimming standout Whitney Myers was named as the 2007 NCAA Woman of the Year at the annual dinner October 27 in Indianapolis.

She is the second NCAA Woman of the Year from Arizona and the fifth swimming student-athlete to earn the honor.

The NCAA Woman of the Year award recognizes female student-athletes who have completed their eligibility and demonstrated excellence in academic pursuits, athletics, community service and leadership. A committee composed of representatives from NCAA member schools and conferences selected the top 30 out of 128 conference and independent nominees, 10 from each division.

From the 30 honorees, nine finalists - three from each division - were chosen. The Committee on Women's Athletics selected Myers from the nine finalists.

In accepting the 17th annual honor, a surprised and emotional Myers praised each of the evening's honorees.

"I wish I could break off a piece of the award for each of these girls because they all deserve it," Myers said. "This award encompasses the whole person, not just your athletics achievements or academic achievements or how many hours you give back to the community. It's how well rounded you are. All of the women here tonight have done an awesome job at developing the whole person. The whole package - that's what you see here tonight."

The whole package also is what you get with Myers, who stressed that she has always viewed her roles as student and athlete as equally important. There were times when she had to miss class for a meet and days when she missed practice to study for a test, and Myers thanked her coaches and teachers who supported her efforts in the pool and in the classroom.

Myers also credited her parents and Becky Bell, a member of Arizona's athletics department staff. "I don't really have any athletics role models. Athletics has taught me a lot about having great character, but athletics ends and that's why I've turned to role models who succeed in their whole lives."

Myers, a science education major with an emphasis in biology/pre-pharmacy, could easily fit into her own definition of a role model. In addition to classes and student teaching in a high school biology class three days a week, Myers is eyeing a run at the 2008 Olympics. A five-event qualifier for the 2008 Olympic Trials in June, she plans to spend the spring semester training.

"The Olympics is the ultimate achievement. To compete for your country is such a huge honor, and because of that, you put pressure on yourself," Myers said. "I'm learning to embrace that challenge, not shy away from it."

Myers' message to young aspiring athletes is along those same lines. Do it all, she said.

"You'll be standing next to someone from another school, you'll race until blood comes out of your ears and it'll be a great competition. Then you'll turn around and say "How's your family," Myers said. "Another great part of sports is learning how to turn things on and off, knowing how to be a fierce competitor but also knowing how to be a humble winner or loser."

Myers clearly has learned how to balance that fierce competitor with the humble winner or loser. Though she isn't sure what led to her being selected as the Woman of the Year, she is certain that it could have been any one of the finalists.

"I'll take the title of NCAA Woman of the Year and carry it with pride, but I know anyone else could be in my place and I?d be just as happy for them."

Myers' academic prowess earned her first-team academic all-American and first-team Pacific-10 all-academic honors for four consecutive years. She twice earned the Mary Roby Academic Achievement Award and was the winner of the 2003 Arizona Distinguished Scholar Award.

A first-team all-American in seven swimming events and a top-three finisher at the NCAA Division I Women's Swimming and Diving Championships in eight events, she holds 14 school records and is a two-time NCAA record holder. A member of the U.S. Women's National Team for three years (2004, 2005, 2006), Myers finished third at the 2004 Olympic Trials and fourth at the 2005 and 2007 World Championships.

Myers was team captain, co-president of the student-athlete advisory board, pre-pharmacy club liaison, student-teacher club member, group leader in the sponsorship of a low-income family and founder and director of a local swim clinic. She worked closely with local Girl Scout troops, elementary schools and retirement communities, and represented her university through many speaking engagements. A volunteer at a pharmacy, Myers also visited the children's ward at the University Medical Center.

NCAA President Myles Brand attended the dinner and commended the honorees for their accomplishments.

"The overriding impression that I have of these young women tonight is their academic achievement, community selflessness and their potential to be leaders of tomorrow. It's clear in hearing their stories that they are concerned and devoted to improving the human condition," Brand said. "These young women have committed to being leaders for positive change. I'm gratified at their willingness to do good for others and I encourage them to embrace every opportunity they have to make a difference in our world."

National basketball analyst Debbie Antonelli and SportsCenter and ESPNews anchor Sage Steele emceed the NCAA Woman of the Year dinner, which will be rebroadcast December 7 on ESPN2 at 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time.

 

Woman of the Year finalists announced

Th NCAA News, September 24, 2007

The NCAA has chosen nine finalists for the 2007 NCAA Woman of the Year.

This year's finalists are: Shauneen Garrahan, Amherst College (cross country, track and field), New England Small College Athletic Conference; Felicia Guliford, University of Tennessee, Knoxville (cross country, track and field), Southeastern Conference; Ana Gutierrez, Seattle University (soccer), Great Northwest Athletic Conference; Jessica Javelet, University of Louisville (field hockey), Big East Conference; Whitney Myers, University of Arizona (swimming and diving), Pacific-10 Conference; Ashley Parker, Lincoln University (Pennsylvania) (track and field), Division III independents; Debbie Sharnak, Vassar College (tennis), Liberty League; Sarah Shearman, Truman State University (volleyball), Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association; and Jamie Wolf, Clarion University of Pennsylvania (swimming and diving), Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.

The honor recognizes outstanding female student-athletes who have excelled in athletics, academics, leadership and service.

The NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics will choose the 2007 NCAA Woman of the Year from among the nine finalists. The winner will be announced during the 17th annual awards dinner October 27 in Indianapolis. ESPN's Sage Steele and Debbie Antonelli will serve as emcees for the evening. Steele is the SportsCenter update anchor for two ESPN morning shows and Antonelli is a veteran women's basketball television analyst who also has been a radio analyst for the CBS/NCAA Network for the past nine Women's Final Fours.

While in Indianapolis, Woman of the Year honorees also will participate in a community-service project for Habitat for Humanity.

The 2006 Woman of the Year was Anne Bersagel, a former cross country and track and field student-athlete at Wake Forest.

Following are some of the accomplishments of this year's Woman of the Year finalists:

 

Shauneen Garrahan, Amherst College
New England Small College Athletic Conference
Cross country and indoor and outdoor track

Academic achievements: Graduated in May of 2007 and majored in psychology and political science. Three-time New England Small College Athletic Conference all-academic honoree, 2005-07. Recipient of the Amherst College Senior Student-Athlete Award given to an exemplary senior athlete based on academics, community involvement and athletics prowess, 2007. Intercollegiate Studies Institute Honors Fellow, 2007-08. Recipient of the Psi Upsilon Prize, awarded to a member of the graduating class considered pre-eminent in scholarship, leadership, athletics and character, 2007. Co-author of article published in The Indicator, Amherst's student journal of social and political thought, 2006.

Athletics achievements: 2008 Olympic Trials qualifier in the 3,000 meters and the steeplechase. Recipient of Amherst's Mossman Trophy, which is given to the senior student-athlete who has brought the greatest honor through athletics to their alma mater, 2007. Two-time captain of the cross country and track and field teams. NCAA Division III 10,000 meter, 5,000 meter national champion, 2007. Two-time NCAA national champion in the steeplechase, 2005 and 2007. Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships Performer of the Meet, 2007. Thirteen-time track and field (six indoors and seven outdoors) and two-time cross country all-American. U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches of America New England Region Athlete of the Year, 2007.

Service and leadership: President of the Newman Club (a Catholic student organization). AmericaReads tutor. Lead and assistant religious education instructor. Co-chair of The Inklings (a philosophy of religion discussion group). Substitute elementary school teacher. Mead Art Museum attendant. Chair of the Amherst College Republicans. Volunteer with Amherst 3-D (a service organization for children and teens with mental and physical disabilities).

Excerpt from personal statement: For one thing, being a student-athlete has taught me the importance of confidence. Whether it is for an exam or a race, I have found that I perform my best when I approach challenges with a confident attitude, knowing that my hours of hard work are going to pay off as long as I put forth my best efforts.

 

Felicia Guliford, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Southeastern Conference
Cross country and indoor and outdoor track and field

Academic achievements: Graduated in August of 2007 and double majored in biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology and Spanish. ESPN the Magazine first-team Academic All-District IV track and field/cross country team, 2007. ESPN the Magazine second-team Academic All-District IV track and field/cross country team, 2005. Women's Intercollegiate Cross Country Coaches Association Academic All-American, 2004. Southeastern Conference Freshman Academic Honor Roll, 2003. SEC Academic Honor Roll, 2003-06. Nine-time Dean's List honoree. Lady Vol Honor Roll, 2003-07.

Athletics achievements: Team captain and team peer mentor, 2006-07. First-team All-American in track and field, 2005. Member of Tennessee's first NCAA track and field team championship (indoor), 2005. Member of Southeastern Conference Indoor Track and Field championship team, 2005 and 2007. SEC champion in the indoor 3,000 meter and 5,000 meter, 2005. SEC champion in the outdoor 5,000 meter, 2005. Member of four NCAA South Region championships and three SEC team titles in cross country. First-team All-SEC in cross country, 2004 and 2005. NCAA All-South Region in cross country, 2002, 2004 and 2005. One of three Lady Vols all-time to appear in four NCAA Cross Country National Championships during her career.

Service and leadership: Volunteer at the Free Medical Clinic for Working Poor and Catholic Charities. Coordinated after-school and weekend activities for children in a low-income subdivision as part of Montgomery Village Children's Outreach. Organized and conducted day camps for students ages 5-18 on Native American reservations as part of WINGS Running and Fitness Camps. Lady Vol Community Service Award winner, track and field, 2007. SEC Good Works Team selection, 2006. Miss Tennessee recipient at UT Athletics' VOLSCARS Awards, recognizing her as the female UT student-athlete who best demonstrated the traits of service, leadership, academics and athletics, 2007. Brad Davis SEC Community Service Award, 2007.

Excerpt from personal statement: Community service, a huge part of our Lady Vol program, has enriched and benefited my life much more than I had ever thought it could. I know that the purpose of community service is to give to others, but every time I work with someone in need I feel like they have given so much more to me than I could give in return.

 

Ana Gutierrez, Seattle University
Great Northwest Athletic Conference
Soccer

Academic achievements: Graduated summa cum laude in June 2007; majored in sociology and Spanish and minored in cultural anthropology. CoSIDA academic all-District VIII, 2005 and 2006. Great Northwest Conference Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year, 2006-07. First team academic all-American, 2006. GNAC all-academic selection, 2004-06. President's List, 2004-06. Dean's List, 2006-07.

Athletics achievements: Team captain, 2004-07. Member of Seattle's GNAC championship teams, 2003 and 2006. First team all-GNAC, 2003-06. First team Far West Region selection, 2004-06. GNAC Freshman of the Year, 2003.

Service and leadership: Volunteer at El Centro de La Raza Community Center. Tutored elementary school children in after school literacy program. Tutored fifth graders on Muckleshoot Indian Reservation. Eucharistic minister and lector in the Campus Ministry. Study abroad in Puebla, Mexico, 2005.

Excerpt from personal statement: As a member of the women's soccer team and a student of an integrated community, I have been blessed with the opportunity to experience the integrity and strength of a bond created between a group of people and the differences that group can make. My experiences of laughter, tears, blood, sweat, the burden of loss and the incredible feeling of success both on and off the field are responsible for empowering me as a confident, passionate and dedicated woman.

 

Jessica Javelet, University of Louisville
Big East Conference
Field hockey

Academic achievements: Graduated in May 2007 with a 4.0 grade-point average and majored in marketing. Valedictorian of the School of Business, 2007. University of Louisville Outstanding Graduating Senior, 2007. NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship winner, 2007. NCAA Walter Byers Scholarship finalist, 2007. Big East/Aeropostale Female Scholar Athlete of the Year, 2007. University of Louisville Female Scholar Athlete of the Year, 2007. ESPN CoSIDA Academic all-American (women's at-large) first team. National Field Hockey Coaches Association Division I first team all-America selection, 2003-06. Most Valuable Seller in Student Marketing Association, 2007.

Athletics achievements: U.S. National Field Hockey Team, 2006-07. U.S. National U-21 Field Hockey Team, 2005. Honda Award finalist, 2005. Big East Offensive Player of the Year, 2006. Big East Co-offensive Player of the Year, 2005. Team vice captain, 2006-07. Member of Big East regular season co-championship team, 2006. Big East first team all-conference selection, 2005 and 2006. Holds school career records for goals (69), assists (38) and points (176); established single-season records for goals (30), assists (14) and points (74); and holds single-game records for goals (5) and points (12).

Service and leadership: Volunteer for the After School Community Center, Silent Metro Fantasy Football League (for the deaf) and deaf bowling. Kentucky Youth Field Hockey Association and International Field Hockey Club of Kentucky coach. High school girls' lacrosse coach. Graduation commencement speaker, 2007. WLCV campus radio, program director. Chi Alpha Sigma (athletics honor society), president, 2006-07.

Excerpt from personal statement: In collegiate sports, everybody has amazing skill, but what separates the great from the good is a degree of dedication and mental strength. I've learned that sacrifice and self-discipline aren't punishment, but a mindset of accepting nothing less than your true potential.

 

Whitney Myers, University of Arizona
Pacific-10 Conference
Swimming and diving

Academic achievements: Science education in biology/pre-pharmacy major. Four-time first team academic all-American, 2004-07. Four-time first team Pacific-10 Conference all-academic selection. Arizona Academic Champion Distinguished Scholar, award by the athletics department. Two-time University of Arizona Academic Champion. Dean's List.

Athletics achievements: Member of the U.S. National Women's Swimming and Diving Team, 2004-06. Finished third at 2004 Olympic Trials. Finished fourth at 2005 and 2007 FINA World Championships. USA Swimming Golden Goggles Award winner for Female Performance of the Year, 2006. 2008 Olympic Trials qualifier in five events. Honda Award finalist, 2006 and 2007. Gold medalist in the 200 meter individual medley and Female Swimmer of the Meet at the 2006 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships. Team captain, 2004-07. Three-time NCAA individual and two-time relay champion, 2006 and 2007. Pacific-10 individual and relay champion, 2006. Holds 14 school records.

Service and leadership: Co-president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Board, 2006-07. Vice co-chair of Pacific-10 Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. Founder and director of local swim clinic, 2004 and 2006. Speaker for local Girl Scouts troop. Volunteer reader at local elementary schools. Volunteered for Race for the Cure and Fiesta Bowl Youth Football Challenge. Visited the children's ward at a local hospital and a local home for underprivileged children.

Excerpt from personal statement: Participation in collegiate swimming has allowed me to continue to build self-esteem while teaching me to believe in my abilities and preparation when the competition is at its most fierce. While I have experienced more success than disappointments, I have learned to always try my best while striving for excellence, not perfection.

 

Ashley Parker, Lincoln University (Pennsylvania)
Division III Independents
Indoor and outdoor track and field

Academic achievements: Health science major. Expected graduation date December 2007. Lincoln University Dean's List honoree. National Dean's List selection. Who's Who Among Students at American Universities and Colleges for Academic Excellence and Leadership, 2007. Recipient of the women's indoor track and field award for the highest grade-point average. Philadelphia Inquirer Academic All-Area Women's Track and Field Athlete of the Year. ESPN the Magazine third team academic all-American. Three-time winner of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Academic Excellence Award while attending Delaware State University between 2003-05.

Athletics achievements: Team captain, 2006-07. Member of NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field national championship team, 4 x 400, 2006. Top-three finisher at the Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships, 4 x 100 and 4 x 400, 2006. Six-time all-American. Earned second- and third-place finishes in 400-meter and 55-meter dashes at Eastern College Athletic Conference championships, 2007. Top-five finisher in the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships, 2007.

Service and leadership: Volunteered at the Atlantic Care Regional Medical Center. Member of the National Society for Negro Women. Big Sister, Little Sister program volunteer. Special Olympics instructor. High school assistant track coach. Summer enrichment program counselor. Organized intramural basketball tournaments. Recipient of Lincoln's Sportsmanship Award for women's indoor track and field. Teaching assistant and tutor in the health science department at Lincoln University. First female in Delaware State University history to attend the Senior Woman Administrators/Athletics Directors Conference, 2004-05.

Excerpt from personal statement: Despite the many trials and tribulations, tears and happiness, and wins and losses, there are five major qualities I have gained by being a student-athlete "character, patience, discipline, teamwork and time management".I have really benefited from my experience as a student-athlete and the experience has equipped me with the tools to be successful and will last a lifetime. *First NCAA Woman of the Year finalist from a Historically Black College or University.

 

Debbie Sharnak, Vassar College
Liberty League
Tennis

Academic achievements: Graduated with departmental honors in May of 2007 and majored in history and political science. NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship recipient, 2007. Truman Scholar national finalist, 2006. Presidential fellow for the Center of the Study of the Presidency, 2005-06. Three-time Intercollegiate Tennis Association Scholar-Athlete. Three-time Liberty League all-academic team selection. Seven Sisters Senior Scholar-Athlete Award recipient, 2007. New York State Women's Collegiate Athletic Association Scholar-Athlete Award winner, 2007. Edwin H. Sherman Family Prize winner for outstanding undergraduate paper in force and diplomacy at Temple University, 2007.

Athletics achievements: Two-time team captain. Two-time first team all-American. Liberty League player of the year, 2006. Liberty League rookie of the year, 2003. Played No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles for seven of eight semesters on the tennis squad. Helped Vassar win four straight Liberty and NYSWCAA titles and four NCAA national championships tournament berths. Vassar College Outstanding Female Athlete of the Year, 2007. Three-time NCAA Division III championships singles qualifier.

Service and leadership: CARES (Counseling and Assistance in Response to Rape and Exploitive Sexual Activity) Counselor. Academic tutor for students ages 10-17. Farm hand on the Vassar organic farm. Taught at free youth tennis clinics. National Committee on American Foreign Policy, intern, 2007. Global Justice Center, intern, 2006-07. Office of Congressman Rush Holt (New Jersey), intern, 2004. Eyes on the International Criminal Court (journal), editor. Volunteer at a women's shelter.

Excerpt from personal statement: My time on and off the court has prepared me to challenge the limits of what others might believe can be accomplished, and to never give up on my goals, no matter what life throws my way.

 

Sarah Shearman, Truman State University
Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association;
Volleyball

Academic achievements: Graduated in May 2006 and majored in psychology. ESPN the Magazine/CoSIDA first team academic all-American. Four-time all-Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association all-academic selection. Three-time MIAA Commissioner's Honor Roll honoree. President's Honor List and Vice President's Honor Roll selection. Inducted into Kappa Delta Pi (future teachers honor society). Completed undergraduate degree in three years and used final year of eligibility to begin master's degree in education.

Athletics achievements: Two-time first team all-American. American Volleyball Coaches Association national freshman of the year. MIAA Freshman of the Year, 2003. Member of three regular season and four MIAA tournament championship teams. Member of two NCAA regional championship teams. Two-time NCAA Elite Eight all-tournament team selection. Member of the starting lineup of the 2004 NCAA Division II national championship match. MIAA Most Valuable Player, 2006. Three-time all-MIAA selection.

Service and leadership: Fellowship of Christian Athletes, 2003-06. Participated in service trip to Oklahoma to repair youth camp damaged by storms, 2004. Volunteer for an after-school reading program, 2005. Counselor for summer girls basketball/volleyball camp.

Excerpt from personal statement: My student-athlete career has provided priceless opportunities of growth that will be forever a part of who I am. Along with the glories of competing, there were difficulties that surfaced that challenged my character and my beliefs. I have learned that grace is the way, patience and understanding earn trust, respect is critical and self-control is a choice.

 

Jamie Wolf, Clarion University of Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference
Swimming and diving

Academic achievements: Graduated in May of 2007 and majored in molecular biology and biotechnology. Four-time academic all-American. Inducted into the Phi Kappa Phi National Honors Fraternity, 2006-07. Barry Goldwater Scholarship nominee, 2006. Clarion University Foundation Grant and Clarion University Wide Undergraduate Research Grant awardee, 2005. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania University Biologist Conference, third place, molecular biology poster presentation, 2006. Dean's List.

Athletics achievements: Team captain, 2006-07. First seven-time national champion in Division II diving. First four-time national champion in Division II three-meter diving. Eight-time all-American. Three-time NCAA Diver of the Year, 2004, 2005 and 2007. Two-time Clarion University Athlete of the Year, 2005 and 2006. Clarion record holder in the 10-dive 1-meter, 11-dive 3-meter and 6-dive 3-meter events. Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference record holder in the 10-dive 1-meter and 11-dive 3-meter events.

Service and leadership: Member of the Beta Beta Beta Biology Honors Fraternity and served as secretary. Member of the Student Honors Association and served as a member of the community service committee. Manager of an undergraduate research laboratory. Member of Heath Careers Club and served as secretary and president. Participated in canned food drive, Clarion Dance Marathon and Operation Clean Sweep. Taught swimming lessons.

Excerpt from personal statement: Many years of diving have proven to me that success is not measured by the number of "wins?" under your belt. Success, in my opinion, is simply defined as trying your best.

 

Award field narrowed to 30 female athletes

By Leilana McKindra
The NCAA News, August 27, 2007

The NCAA has announced the top 30 nominees for the 17th annual Woman of the Year Award.

The honor recognizes outstanding female student-athletes who have excelled in academics, athletics and community leadership, and have completed their collegiate athletics eligibility.

A committee composed of representatives from NCAA member schools and conferences chose the nominees — 10 from each NCAA division — from 128 conference and independent nominees. From the group of 30, the top nine finalists will be selected and announced in September. The NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics will choose a national winner from among the top nine finalists. The 2007 Woman of the Year will be announced during the annual awards dinner October 27 in Indianapolis.

The 2006 Woman of the Year was Anne Bersagel, a former cross country and indoor and outdoor track and field standout from Wake Forest University.

2006 NCAA Woman of the Year

 

Woman of the Year winner finds meaning in journey

By Leilana McKindra
The NCAA News, November 6, 2006

Anne Bersagel, 2006 NCAA Woman of the Year

Wake Forest University distance runner Anne Bersagel told Woman of the Year ceremony attendees to "set big goals and celebrate the smaller milestones along the way."

Anne Bersagel traveled from Oslo, Norway, to attend this year’s Woman of the Year dinner. On the return trip, the former Wake Forest University runner will have more than luggage to manage. Bersagel also will take back happy memories after being named the 2006 Woman of the Year October 28 in Indianapolis.

The award - one of the most prestigious that the NCAA bestows - honors female student-athletes who have completed their eligibility and demonstrated excellence in academics, athletics, community service and leadership.

For the first time in the award’s 16-year history, NCAA conferences were invited to nominate a league Woman of the Year. From the 121 names submitted, 30 conference honorees were named (10 from each NCAA division) and from the 30 honorees, nine finalists (three from each division) were chosen. The NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics selected Bersagel, who represented the Atlantic Coast Conference, from the pool of nine finalists.

In accepting the award, Bersagel told a crowd of 300 that included her parents, grandparents and former coach at Wake Forest, that it was an honor to be included among the accomplished and inspiring women being recognized during the evening. She said receiving the award was a testament to the kinds of opportunities she was given at Wake Forest. In remarks that echoed the night’s theme - "Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow" - Bersagel also acknowledged those who opened the doors for today’s women athletes.

"I want to thank the NCAA female athletes who came before us and really paved the way for us to compete in sports and fought for the concept that we are athletes, too. What they’ve given us is an opportunity that has enriched our lives," she said.

Currently a Fulbright Scholar pursuing a graduate degree in peace and conflict studies at the University of Oslo, Bersagel ultimately has her sights set on one day enriching the lives of others as the U.S. Secretary of State. That goal was inspired, she said, by the opportunity to work as an intern at the U.S. Embassy in Oslo and seeing the role that diplomats play in ensuring a peaceful world order.

Bersagel has other plans for the more immediate future, however. By her own admission, she is not quite ready to relinquish her lane on the track. An Olympic hopeful, she continues to train with Team USA Minnesota, based in Minneapolis-St. Paul. Last month, she competed in the World Road Running Championships 20K in Hungary, leading Team USA to a 10th-place finish overall. This spring Bersagel plans to enter the Boston Marathon, which will be her first marathon.

"As far as I’m concerned, I want to take it as far as I can," she said. "Once I feel like I’ve reached my limit in athletics, then I’m ready to move on to the next step. Until that point, I’m not willing to hang up my spikes."

Understanding well her own place as a role model, Bersagel said some of the best advice she could pass along to young athletes is actually attributed to Francie Larue Smith, a top distance runner in the United States in the 1980s who encouraged athletes to be patient, believe in themselves and to not expect too much too soon.

Those words, Bersagel said, have stuck with her for the better part of a decade.

"It’s so true, the idea that you dream big, and it’s important not to limit yourself, but at the same time be realistic," she said. "Don’t not expect too much to soon, but set big goals and celebrate the smaller milestones along the way."

A Greeley, Colorado, native, Bersagel is the first Woman of the Year honoree from Wake Forest and the sixth track and field student-athlete to receive the award.

The economics and political science double major graduated with honors in December 2005 and is the recipient of both an NCAA postgraduate scholarship and an NCAA Walter Byers Scholarship. A four-time Edwin G. Wilson Wake Forest Scholar Athlete of the Year, Bersagel also was a Colorado state finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship.

In addition to excelling in the classroom, Bersagel was a three-time Atlantic Coast Conference cross country performer of the week and holds school outdoor track records in the 3,000, 5,000 and 10,000 meters. She held a leadership position in Wake Forest’s chapter of Amnesty International and was vice president of the Tassel Chapter of Mortar Board. Bersagel also was the U.S. representative on the global economic trade panel at the NATO Youth Summit on Anti-Terrorism. In addition, she volunteered with Headstart and served as a tutor for the Forsyth County (North Carolina) public schools.

Last year’s Woman of the Year was Lauryn McCalley, a former swimming and diving student-athlete from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Danyelle Sargent, a CSTV sports anchor, and Kara Lawson, a former Tennessee basketball student-athlete and 2003 Woman of the Year finalist, emceed the event. Portions of the dinner will be rebroadcast at noon December 3 on ESPN2.

 

Nine finalists selected for 2006 Woman of the Year award

By Leilana McKindra
The NCAA News, October 23, 2006

The NCAA has selected nine finalists for the 2006 NCAA Woman of the Year, the winner of which will be announced at the annual awards dinner October 28 in Indianapolis.

The honor recognizes standout female student-athletes for excellence in academics, athletics and community service and leadership.

This year’s finalists are:

  • Anne Bersagel, Wake Forest University (cross country and indoor and outdoor track), Atlantic Coast Conference;
  • Janelle Engle, Old Dominion University (field hockey), Colonial Athletic Association;
  • Angela Homan, Auburn University (cross country and indoor and outdoor track and field), Southeastern Conference;
  • Jennifer Irwin, Ferris State University (cross country and indoor and outdoor track and field), Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference;
  • Adrianne Musu Jackson-Buckner, State University College at Oneonta (field hockey and indoor and outdoor track), State University of New York Athletic Conference;
  • Angela Pfeiffer, Concordia College, Moorhead (indoor and outdoor track), Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference;
  • Bethany Rehm, Texas Woman’s University (gymnastics);
  • Christyn Schumann, Trinity University (Texas) (indoor and outdoor track), Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference; and
  • Greta Trotman, Barry University (tennis), Sunshine State Conference.

The Committee on Women’s Athletics will select the 2006 Woman of the Year from among the finalists. Danielle Sargent, an ESPN personality, will share emcee responsibilities with Kara Lawson. Lawson is a former University of Tennessee, Knoxville, women’s basketball student-athlete and 2003 Woman of the Year finalist who currently plays in the WNBA. She also has done color commentary for ESPN during the Division I Women’s Basketball Championship.

While in Indianapolis, the finalists also will participate in a service project with Habitat for Humanity.

Lauryn McCalley, a former diver at Tennessee, was the 2005 NCAA Woman of the Year.

Following are some of the accomplishments of the 2006 Woman of the Year finalists:

Anne Bersagel
Wake Forest University
Cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field

Academic achievement: Economics and political science double-major who graduated with honors from Wake Forest in December 2005. United States Track Coaches Association all-American, 2002-03. College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-American, 2003, 2005. Four-time Edwin G. Wilson Wake Forest Scholar-Athlete of the Year. NCAA Walter Byers Scholarship, 2006. NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, 2005. Weaver-James-Corrigan ACC Postgraduate Scholarship, 2006.

Athletics achievement: Cross country — ACC champion, 2002. Three-time first-team all-American. Two-time first-team all-conference. Indoor track — Two-time first-team all-conference. Two-time first-team all-American. Outdoor track — First-team all-conference, 2005. Three-time first-team all-American. Two-time ACC champion.

Service and leadership: United States Embassy, Oslo, internship Wake Forest University Philomathesian Editorial Board member. United States Agency for International Development. Wake Forest University Chapter of Amnesty International, vice president and treasurer. Student Conference on United States Affairs, Wake Forest political science representative. NATO Youth Summit on Anti-Terrorism. U.S. representative on global economics trade panel. U.S. representative to Danish Atlantic Youth Seminar.

Excerpt from personal statement: "As female student-athletes, we owe a tremendous debt to the women who came before us and paved the way for participation in collegiate athletics. While at Wake Forest, I was fortunate to work with coach Annie Bennett, a former NCAA champion and currently one of the few female head coaches of both a men’s and women’s NCAA Division I track and field program. Through her example, I learned to be more assertive in my racing tactics and approach each competition with calm confidence. That sense of empowerment could not help but spill into the rest of my life as well."

 

Adrianne Musu Jackson-Buckner
State University College at Oneonta
Field hockey, indoor and outdoor track

Academic achievement:A May 2006 graduate of Oneonta State. Dean’s List honoree and National Field Hockey Coaches Association Academic Squad member, 2002-06. New York State Women’s Collegiate Athletic Association Scholar-Athlete of the Year, 2006. State University of New York Athletic Conference all-academic squad and Commissioner’s List selection. ESPN the Magazine Cross Country/Track and Field second-team Academic All-American, 2006. NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship recipient, 2006.

Athletics achievement: Division III national champion in the 200-meter dash, 2006. Two-time indoor and four-time outdoor track and field all-American. Four-time indoor and two-time outdoor Eastern College Athletic Conference track and field champion. Seven-time indoor and 10-time outdoor SUNYAC track and field champion. Oneonta State Women’s Athlete of the Year, 2006. Two-time ECAC Most Outstanding Female Athlete of the Meet (outdoor track), 2005-06.

Service and leadership:Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Diversity Committee chair, 2002-04, 2005-06. Oneonta Safe Space student coordinator, 2005-06. African American-Latino-Asian-Native American mentor/mentee.

Excerpt from personal statement:"The benefits of my experience as a student-athlete are threefold: (1) Discipline. The simultaneous demands of practice and school work forced me, happily, to prioritize. (2) Travel. Between field hockey and track, I have had the opportunity to travel to 14 states and two countries. (3) Endless opportunities. I learned how to perform under pressure before having entered the workplace because I needed that skill on the track. These opportunities, including my ability to be a positive role model, would have escaped me if I had not been involved with athletics.

 

Janelle Engle
Old Dominion University
Field hockey

Academic achievement:Music education major who will graduate in December. ESPN The Magazine first-team Academic All-American. Colonial Athletic Association Scholar-Athlete of the Year, 2006. Four-time National Field Hockey Coaches Association academic all-American. Four-time CAA Commissioner’s Academic Award.

Athletics achievement:First team all-American, 2005. Three-time conference champion. Player of the Year, Colonial Athletic Association, 2005. Two-time first-team all-CAA. NCAA all-tournament team, 2005. Old Dominion University Alumni Association Female Student-Athlete of the Year, 2006. Old Dominion Sportsmanship Award, 2005.

Service and leadership:Two-year member of school’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. Two-year team captain. Four-year member of Old Dominion Field Hockey Team Council. President (2006) and vice president (2005) of American String Teachers Association. Three-year member of Monarch String Quartet. Two-year concertmaster of Old Dominion Orchestra. First violinist of Diehn String Quartet, two years.

Excerpt from personal statement:"Being a student-athlete, I learned the value of leadership skills, teamwork, self-discipline and a passion for everything I do. As team captain for two years and concertmaster of the school orchestra, I experienced success because I discovered that being a good leader means being a good teammate ... The success and growth I achieved as a person - academically and athletically - provided me with a sense of accomplishment and joy. Gaining respect from teammates, coaches and opponents through hard work and passion is the true reward and will benefit me in all my future endeavors."

 

Angela Homan
Auburn University
Cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field

Academic achievement:Exercise science major who graduated in May 2006. Auburn University’s Presidential Award of Excellence, 2005. Southeastern Conference (SEC) Boyd McWhorter Postgraduate Scholarship recipient and NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship recipient, 2006. Algenon Sydney Sullivan Award, 2006. President’s Award from the College of Education, 2006.

Athletics achievement:Cross country team captain, 2005. Outdoor track team captain, 2005-06. Indoor track team captain, 2006. Seven-time first team all-American. Three-time SEC cross country individual champions. Member of the 2006 NCAA national championship outdoor track team. Three-time SEC cross country athlete of the year. Member of the Cross Country World Junior Team, 2003.

Service and leadership:Two-year Project Uplift volunteer. Physical Therapy Special Interest Group President. Student-Athlete Advisory Committee member. Three-year American Cancer Society Relay for Life committee volunteer. Volunteer for the Human Performance and Rehabilitation Center and the Lima Memorial Health Systems.

Excerpt from personal statement:"Being a student-athlete helped me deal with pressure and maximize my potential. I’ve learned to stay focused and balance my time effectively among academics, athletics, volunteer work and extracurricular activities. While this has certainly been challenging, the rewards of hard work have paid off and I now possess memories that will last a lifetime. I have truly learned the value of teamwork, the humility of defeat, and the honor of victory."

 

Jennifer Irwin
Ferris State University
Cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field

Academic achievement:Plastics engineering technology and rubber engineering technology major who graduated in May 2006. Dean’s List every semester. Ferris State Plastics Program Student of the Year, 2005. Ferris State Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year, 2005-06. Helen Benette Scholarship for Outstanding Female Athlete. Ferris State Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

Athletics achievement:Four-time Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Cross Country Runner of the Week. Fourteen-time all-conference. Six-time all-American.

Service and leadership:Four-year member of the Ferris State Rubber Group. Four year member of the Society of Plastics Engineers. Two-year member of the Society of Automotive Engineers. Volunteered as a speaker with elementary school children. Habitat for Humanity volunteer.

Excerpt from personal statement:"My experience as a student-athlete has provided me with numerous benefits that would have been unattainable without the unique combination of athletics and scholastics. The most significant of these include perseverance, prioritization and dedication. Life is full of opportunities; combining athletics and scholastics has taught me to prioritize my values to be successful and to enjoy life to the fullest."

 

Angela Pfeiffer
Concordia College, Moorhead
Indoor and outdoor track

Academic achievement:An April 2006 graduate of Concordia-Moorhead. ESPN The Magazine first-team Academic All-American, 2006; second-team, 2005. Four-time all-Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference academic team. Four-time U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association academic team. NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship recipient, 2006.

Athletics achievement:Team captain, 2005-06. Ten-time MIAC champion. Holds 12 school records and two MIAC meet records. MIAC Track Athlete of the Year, 2004. Two-time top-three finisher at NCAA championships in the 400 meters. Three-time most outstanding performance in conference meet (indoor and outdoor).

Service and leadership:Student-Athlete Advisory Committee member. Edited, researched and wrote for textbooks as an undergraduate research assistant. Helped first-year students in college transition as an orientation leader. Cared for orphaned children as an orphanage aid in Costa Rica. Volunteered at a low-income day care.

Excerpt from personal statement:"Although I have been fortunate enough to receive awards and recognition for my track and field participation, these things are not the most important benefits I have gained from my experience. I cannot imagine my college experience without track and field. It has allowed me to develop life-long friendships and memories. Most importantly, I have learned that life is not about winning or losing, but about what you learn and the people you meet."

 

Bethany Rehm
Texas Woman’s University
Gymnastics

Academic achievement:Business major who expects to graduate in December. National Association of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches scholastic all-American. USA Gymnastics Scholar-Athlete. Recipient of Texas Woman’s President’s Award, the highest honor bestowed to a current student-athlete.

Athletics achievement: One of three TWU team captains during the 2005-06 season. Won the USA Gymnastics Collegiate National Championships individual title on the uneven bars. Member of the USA Gymnastics Collegiate National Championship winning team, 2003, 2006. 2006 Midwest Independent Conference all-conference selection.

Service and leadership: Student-Athlete Advisory Committee member. Collected donations and contributed to Hurricane Katrina relief through United Way and American Red Cross. Member of Sigma Beta Delta honor society for business majors. Helped families in need during Thanksgiving and Christmas through Adopt-a-Family. Habitat for Humanity volunteer.

Excerpt from personal statement: "The opportunity to be a student-athlete has been a rewarding experience that has taught me countless valuable lessons, the most important of which is the value of teamwork as being crucial to success. Another major insight I have gained from gymnastics is how to deal with adversity."

 

Christyn Schumann
Trinity University (Texas)
Track and field

Academic achievement: Business management major who graduated in May 2006. Recipient of NCAA Women’s Enhancement Program Postgraduate Scholarship. NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, 2006. Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Academic Honor Roll. Recipient of Trinity University Division of Student Affairs Presidential Award of Excellence for campus leadership and excellence.

Athletics Achievement: Team captain, 2004-06. NCAA champion in high jump (outdoor), 2004-06. NCAA champion in high jump (indoor), 2005. Three-time Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference team champion. Holds Trinity and conference high jump records.

Service and leadership: Student-Athlete Advisory Committee member. Mentor in Big Brothers, Big Sisters Program. Interned with the San Antonio Sports Foundation. Resident assistant for 40 students in dormitory on Trinity campus. Red Cross and UNICEF volunteer.

Excerpt from personal statement: "It is difficult to delineate all I have gained as a student-athlete, for I cannot imagine my college years without that experience. Division III athletics enabled me to compete at the top level while focusing on other aspects of my life and developing life skills necessary to excel after college."

 

Greta Trotman
Barry University
Tennis

Academic achievement: History and literature double major who graduated in May 2006. Three-time Barry University Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Dean’s Award for Outstanding Senior in the School of Arts and Sciences, 2006. Two-time Sunshine State Conference Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Four-time Intercollegiate Tennis Association Scholar All-American.

Athletics Achievement: Team captain, 2005-06. Top-three finisher at NCAA championships and first-team all-American in singles play, 2005, 2006. Top-three finisher at NCAA championships and first-team all-American in doubles play, 2006. First-team all-conference and Sunshine State conference champion in singles play, 2005. Member of the Sunshine State conference team champion, 2005.

Service and leadership: Student-Athlete Advisory Committee member. Participant in National Girls and Women in Sports Day and National Student-Athlete Day Clinics. Assistant counselor for homeless children at Nicolas House. Assisted in event planning of Special Olympics.

Excerpt from personal statement: "My experience as a student-athlete at Barry University has greatly impacted my life. My four years on the tennis team were a period of growth in which I learned more about myself and my surroundings. My roommates made me realize that communication, especially in light of cultural differences, is essential for successful relationships."

 

Conference selections first step for 2006 Woman of the Year

By Leilana McKindra
The NCAA News, August 28, 2006

The NCAA will announce the 2006 NCAA Woman of the Year on October 28 at a dinner in Indianapolis. Since 1991, the award has been presented annually to a senior student-athlete who has distinguished herself throughout her collegiate career in the areas of academic achievement, athletics excellence, service and leadership. As part of a revised selection process this year, schools submitted nominations through their conferences. Each league was allowed to select up to two nominees as long as one was an ethnic minority. From the conference nominees listed below, the Woman of the Year selection committee will announce the top 10 selections in Divisions I, II and III, respectively. From each group of 10, a top three will be chosen. The 2006 Woman of the Year will be selected by the NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics from the pool of nine divisional honorees. Previously, the selection committee chose one nominee per state and the overall winner was selected by the CWA from the top 10 finalists. Last year’s winner was Lauryn McCalley, a former swimming and diving student-athlete at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Big West (I) Megan Baker UC Irvine Swimming

 

Conference Nominee School Sport(s)
Allegheny Mountain (III) Staci Banaszek Penn St.-Behrend Indoor, outdoor track
America East (I) Ashlee Reed Albany (N.Y.) Volleyball
American Southwest (III) April Johnson Hardin-Simmons Soccer
Atlantic 10 (I) Melanie Kasparek Rhode Island Soccer
ACC (I) Anne Bersagel Wake Forest Cross country, indoor and outdoor track
ACC (I) Courtney Bumpers North Carolina Gymnastics
Atlantic Sun (I) Erin Ashton East Tenn. St. Soccer
AWCC (III) Katie Gwiazdowski Notre Dame (Maryland) Tennis, volleyball
Big 12 (I) Cat Osterman Texas Softball
Big 12 (I) Sophia Young Baylor Basketball
Big East (I) Megan McGrane Pittsburgh Volleyball
Big East (I) Khara Smith DePaul Basketball
Big Sky (I) Erin Jones-Graf Montana St. Indoor and outdoor track
Big South (I) Carrie Selmer Winthrop Cross country, indoor and outdoor track
Big South (I) Stephanie Walker Liberty Basketball, outdoor track
Big Ten (I) Kayla Bashore Indiana Field hockey
California Collegiate (II) Briana Hinga UC San Diego Basketball, outdoor track
CAC (III) Brittany Elliott Salisbury Field hockey
Carolinas-Virginia (II) Rita (Lucia) Henkle Mount Olive Tennis
Carolinas-Virginia (II) Lindsey Snyder Mount Olive Golf
Centennial (III) Amy Schmidt Muhlenberg Tennis
CACC (II) Alicia Scott Georgian Court Volleyball
CIAA (II) Ffion Fletcher Shaw Cross country, tennis
CCIW (III) Melinda Sprague Illinois Wesleyan Cross country, outdoor track
CHA (I) Jessica Snelgrove Wayne St. (Mich.) Ice hockey, softball
Colonial (I) Tanika Brown Virginia Commonwealth Indoor and outdoor track
Colonial (I) Janelle Engle Old Dominion Field hockey
Commonwealth (III) Meagan Hennessy Moravian Softball
Commonwealth Coast (III) Kayla Hinckley New England Field hockey, lacrosse
Conference USA (I) Blair DiSesa Rice Tennis
Conference USA (I) Jacqueline Gonzalez Houston Softball, volleyball
East Coast (II) Donna Lohrey Molloy Basketball
EISA (I) Jaime Kingsbury Vermont Skiing
Empire 8 (III) Leigh Bonkowski Ithaca Softball
Freedom (III) Josemar Castillo Lycoming Tennis
Freedom (III) Katherine Springmeyer FDU-Florham Field hockey
GLIAC (II) Jennifer Irwin Ferris St. Cross country, indoor and outdoor track
GLVC (II) Amanda Newton Drury Basketball
Great Northwest (II) Jessica Telleria Western Washington Outdoor track
Great South (III) Heather Mathis Maryville (Tenn.) Soccer
Gulf South (II) Alyse Hasty Delta St. Softball
Heartland (II) Kennie Boxill St. Mary’s (Tex.) Soccer
Heartland (II) Lindsey Heye St. Edward’s Softball
Heartland Collegiate (III) Holly Gibson Transylvania Softball
Hockey East (I) Karen Thatcher Providence Ice hockey
Horizon (I) Victoria Mitchell Butler Cross country, indoor and outdoor track
Independent (III) Erin Powell Nebraska Wesleyan Indoor and outdoor track
Independent (II) Caroline Cosgrove Dowling Rowing
Independent (II) Bethany Rehm Texas Woman’s Gymnastics
Independent (I) Katie Lorenz North Dakota St. Basketball
Independent (I) Heather Sealer South Dakota St. Basketball
Independent (II) Nicole DeYong Alas. Anchorage Skiing, cross country
Independent (I) Jana Rehemaa Colorado Skiing
Iowa Intercollegiate (III) Katherine Pederson Central (Iowa) Indoor track, volleyball
Ivy (I) Alison Crocker Dartmouth Skiing
Ivy Group (I) Joslyn Woodard Yale Indoor and outdoor track
Liberty League (III) Erika Eisenhut Union (N.Y.) Basketball, soccer
Liberty League (III) Seraphine Hamilton Wm. Smith Basketball, soccer
Little East (III) Stacy Leblanc Southern Me. Soccer
Lone Star (II) Katherine Henley West Tex. A&M Soccer
Metro Atlantic (I) Elizabeth Hubbard Siena Volleyball
Michigan Intercollegiate (III) Christine Hendricks Calvin Outdoor track, volleyball
Mid-America Intercollegiate (II) Gena Lindsay Northwest Mo. St. Tennis
MAC (I) Lindsay Shearer Kent St. Basketball
MAC (I) Tamera Thomas Central Michigan Indoor and outdoor track
Mid-Continent (I) Anne Hafeli Oakland Basketball
MEAC (I) Renecia Lovelace N.C. A&T Softball
Midwest (III) Rachel Moskowitz Grinnell Soccer
Minnesota Intercollegiate (III) Angela Pfeiffer Concordia-M’head Indoor and outdoor track
Missouri Valley (I) Elizabeth Meyers Wichita St. Volleyball
Mountain West (I) Maja Kovacek New Mexico Tennis
NESCAC (III) Elizabeth Guernsey Trinity (Conn.) Rowing
NEWMAC (III) Meghan Bascetta Springfield Field hockey
New England (III) Mandi Rapisardi Lasell Lacrosse
NJAC (III) Brittny Boyd TCNJ Soccer, indoor and outdoor track
North Central (II) Lindsey Dietz Minn. Duluth Basketball
North Atlantic (III) Kristi Guzzo Elms Softball
North Coast Athletic (III) Emily Hisca Wittenberg Lacrosse and soccer
Northeast (I) Darby Biggart Wagner Lacrosse
Northeast-10 (II) Maureen Burns Bryant Field hockey, lacrosse
Northern Illinois-Iowa (III) Corey Krysiak Aurora Soccer
Northern Sun Intercollegiate (II) Kathryn Kramer Winona St. Soccer
Northwest (III) Cortney Kjar Puget Sound Soccer
OAC (III) Elena Fernandez John Carroll Cross country, indoor and outdoor track
OAC (III) Erica Hoyt Muskingum Softball
Ohio Valley (I) Michele Jett Southeast Mo. St. Outdoor track
Ohio Valley (I) Brianna Venable Austin Peay Softball
Old Dominion (III) Megan Silva Randolph-Macon Basketball
Pacific-10 (I) Kate Richardson UCLA Gymnastics
Peach Belt (II) Danielle Moore Francis Marion Basketball
Peach Belt (II) Shannon Pallardy S.C. Upstate Basketball, cross country, volleyball
PSAC (III) Amy Bower Misericordia Cross country, outdoor track
PSAC (II) Hughes Courtney Lock Haven Field hockey, softball
PAC (III) Elisa Pedersen Grove City Cross country
RMAC (II) Hannah Davey-Briggs Colorado Mines Cross country, indoor and outdoor track
RMAC (II) Victoria Martinez Adams St. Cross country, indoor and outdoor track
Skyline (III) Valerie Barnhart Stevens Institute Field hockey, lacrosse, soccer
South Atlantic (II) Martina Moo Young Wingate Golf
South Atlantic (II) Paige Haverty Catawba Golf
SEC (I) Angela Homan Auburn Cross country, indoor and outdoor track
SEC (I) Sarah Lowe Florida Basketball
SCIAC (III) Alexandra Mallen Cal Lutheran Basketball
Southern Collegiate (III) Christyn Schumann Trinity (Tex.) Indoor and outdoor track
Southern (I) Shannon Wommack Chattanooga Cross country, indoor and outdoor track
SWAC (I) Heather Shove Jackson St. Softball
SUNYAC (III) Adrianne Musu Jackson-Buckner Oneonta St . Field hockey, indoor and outdoor track
SUNYAC (III) Jodie Schoppmann Potsdam St. Cross country
Sun Belt (I) Danyele Gomez La.-Lafayette Softball
Sunshine State (II) Katie Heintz, St. Leo Softball
Sunshine State (II) Greta Trotman Barry Tennis
Patriot (I) Keira Carlstrom American Cross country, indoor and outdoor track
Patriot (I) Chelsea Haviland Army Swimming
UAA (III) Renee Neuner Chicago Soccer
UAA (III) Carmen Rowan Case Reserve Basketball
USA South (III) Sarah Davis Greensboro Volleyball
West Coast (I) Christine Sinclair Portland Soccer
WAC (I) Annie Baxter Nevada Soccer
WAC (I) QuiongJie Huang Hawaii Swimming
Western Water Polo (II) Sarah Reneker Cal St. San B’dino Water polo
Wisconsin Intercollegiate (III) Julia Rudd Wis.-La Crosse Cross country, indoor and outdoor track

 

2005 NCAA Woman of the Year

 

McCalley Named 2005 NCAA Woman of the Year

For Immediate Release: Saturday, October 29, 2005
Contact: Crissy M. Schluep, Assistant Director of Public and Media Relations
Lauryn McCalley, photo by Stephen Nowland, NCAAPhotos

Lauryn McCalley, NCAA 2005 Woman of the Year

INDIANAPOLIS---Lauryn McCalley, a former diving standout at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is the 2005 NCAA Woman of the Year.

McCalley received the award – one of the most prestigious that the NCAA bestows – at the 15th annual NCAA Woman of the Year Awards Dinner tonight, October 29, at the Westin Indianapolis. The award honors academic and athletics excellence, as well as community service and leadership.

A selection committee comprised of representatives from NCAA member schools chose 51 state winners representing the states, District of Columbia and Puerto Rico from 352 nominees. The state of Arizona did not submit any nominees. Ten finalists were selected from the state winners. The NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics selected McCalley from the 10 finalists.

McCalley, a Moultrie, Georgia native, is the second Woman of the Year from Tennessee and the sixth swimming and diving student-athlete to be named Woman of the Year. The 1992 Woman of the Year, Catherine Byrne, was also a member of the swimming and diving team at Tennessee.

Claiming a 3.93 grade-point average (on a 4.0 scale) in microbiology, McCalley expects to graduate in May 2006 and plans to attend the University of Georgia to become a compounding pharmacist. McCalley was a recipient of the NCAA postgraduate scholarship and one of three finalists for the NCAA Walter Byers Scholarship. She was also consistently named to the Tennessee Thornton Center Honor Roll, the Southeastern Conference (SEC) Honor Roll, won the SEC Scholar Athlete Award, and as a senior, was named a SEC H. Boyd McWhorter Postgraduate Scholarship Recipient. McCalley was also named one of Glamour magazine’s 2004 Top Ten College Women.

McCalley also excelled in the pool and was a member of the United States National Team from 1995-2004. She earned all-America honors and first-team all-SEC honors throughout her collegiate career and was named the SEC Freshman Diver of the Year. McCalley is no stranger to success, being named the Tennessee Swimmer/Diver of the Year in 2002-03 and recipient of the Tennessee No Guts No Glory Award in 2003-04, all while serving as team co-captain.

While not studying or competing, McCalley found time to serve in a leadership role as the Tennessee Student-Athlete Advisory Committee President, representing female student-athletes on the Tennessee Athletics Board and serving on the Athletes in Action Leadership Team. She served as president of Homeless Holiday Dinners and Baskets, worked with the mentoring program at Colquitt Regional Hospital and was a member of the Read Aloud program for children. A member of the Chi Omega Sorority, McCalley was active with the Faith Promise Church Involvement and Service and served as a mentor for the Florence-Crypton Pregnancy Agency.

"My goals have not changed since I was young, but they have deepened," cCalley said in her personal statement on her nomination form. "Because of being a student-athlete, these dreams have now transformed into reality. The benefits of being a student-athlete have been manifold. First, the discipline that diving has taught me is invaluable and has helped me achieve my goals. Secondly, I have learned to focus under pressure, a much needed skill in life. Lastly, I have learned the hard way Winston Churchill’s famous quote, ‘Never, never, never, never, never, never give up.’ These three life lessons learned from being a student-athlete will travel with me and help me reach my goals as I go to the University of Georgia to be a compounding pharmacist."

Last year’s Woman of the Year was Kelly Albin, a lacrosse standout from Division II University of California, Davis. Albin graduated magna cum laude with a degree in food science with a microbiology emphsis. She was the third winner from UC Davis since the award’s inception in 1991. The University of Georgia has also produced three national award winners.

 

Woman of the Year finalists show diversity of character, skill

The NCAA News Online, September 12th, 2005

Ten finalists have been selected for the 2005 NCAA Woman of the Year Award. The honor recognizes senior student-athletes for their outstanding athletics, academic and community-service achievements.

The 10 finalists are Michelle Reeser, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa (gymnastics); Alisha Williams, Western State College of Colorado (cross country, track and field); Leah Geib, University of Delaware (field hockey); Melissa Lehman, Barry University (volleyball); Jennifer Skolaski, University of Iowa (swimming and diving); Richelle Simpson, University of Nebraska, Lincoln (gymnastics); Deirdre Dlugonski, Pennsylvania State University (swimming and diving); Janiva Willis, Winthrop University (softball); Lauryn McCalley, University of Tennessee, Knoxville (swimming and diving); and Lindsay Hagerman, Washington and Lee University (tennis).

The 10 finalists were chosen from 51student-athletes recognized as state winners in August. Recipients also represented Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. There were no nominations from the state of Arizona.

The finalists will attend the annual Woman of the Year awards dinner October 29 in Indianapolis, at which time the 2005 Woman of the Year will be announced.

Following are some of the accomplishments of the 10 finalists.

Richelle Simpson
University of Nebraska, Lincoln
Gymnastics

Academic achievements: International studies and French double major; graduated with distinction from Nebraska in May 2005. National Association of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches scholastic academic all-American, 2002-05. Two-time first-team academic all-Big 12 Conference selection. University of Nebraska Female Student-Athlete of the Year, 2005. Recipient of Big 12 and NCAA postgraduate scholarships, 2005.

Athletics accomplishments: Team captain, 2004-05. Top-three finisher at NCAA championships in all-around and floor exercises (2002, 2003, 2005). Earned multiple all-America honors in all-around and floor exercises. Member of Big 12 team champion, (2003, 2005). Big 12 all-around champion, 2003. Member of the Canadian National Team, 2003.

Service and leadership: Student-Athlete Advisory Committee member. Team Spirit Hospital volunteer. Coordinated fund-raising for domestic violence. Volunteer speaker at area middle and elementary schools.

Excerpt from personal statement: "My student-athlete experience has shaped who I am and will define my future success. Sports have taught me a work ethic second to none and also how to be humble with success. Athletics has helped me mature as a confident, poised and determined young woman."

 

Deirdre Dlugonski
Pennsylvania State University
Swimming and diving

Academic achievements: Kinesiology major; graduated in May 2005 with the highest grade-point average in the department. Selected to ESPN the Magazine's academic all-District II Women's At-Large first team, 2005. Four-time College Swim Coaches Association of America academic all-American. Three-time academic all-Big Ten Conference. Member of dean's list every semester.

Athletics accomplishments: Team captain, 2002-2005. Earned multiple all-America honors for relay performances. Member of several Big Ten championship relay teams. Member of Big Ten champions (2002, 2005).

Service and leadership: Member of Women's Leadership Initiative, 2003-05. Involved with the Penn Pal program, writing letters to classrooms of elementary school students. Volunteered at Special Olympics. Taught stroke techniques to children at Penn State swimming sports camps.

Excerpt from personal statement: "As a student-athlete, I have learned that some of the best experiences in life also are the most challenging. I learned that working hard to achieve goals means making sacrifices. During my career at Penn State, I gained many things, the most important of which is the opportunity to know what it feels like to be part of something bigger than myself."

 

Janiva Willis
Winthrop University
Softball

Academic achievements: Physical education athletic training major; graduated in May 2005. Four-time National Fastpitch Coaches Association all-American scholar-athlete. Four-time Big South Conference presidential scholar. Big South Scholar Athlete of the Year, 2005. Big South all-academic team, 2005. Member of the president's list and dean's list.

Athletics accomplishments: Team captain, 2004-05. Three-time all-Big South selection. Member of Canadian National Summer Team, 2002. Alternate on Canadian Olympic Team, 2004.

Service and leadership: Student-Athlete Advisory Committee member. Volunteer reader with elementary school children. Helped fund-raise for literacy programs. Worked with cerebral palsy students. Volunteered for Big Brother/Big Sister program.

Excerpt from personal statement: "By being a student-athlete, I found that I gained better time management skills and self-discipline. Being far away from home, the team became my family away from home. The lifelong relationships that I have developed with my coaches and teammates have filled the void of my family not being able to be there."

 

Lauryn McCalley
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Swimming and diving

Academic achievements: Microbiology major; expects to graduate in May 2006 and plans to become a compounding pharmacist. Recipient of NCAA postgraduate scholarship, 2004-05. NCAA Walter Byers Postgraduate Scholarship finalist, 2004-05. Southeastern Conference H. Boyd McWhorter Postgraduate Scholarship recipient, 2004-05. SEC scholar-athlete award, 2001-05. SEC honor roll, 2002-05. Glamour's Top Ten College Women, 2004.

Athletics accomplishments: Team co-captain, 2001-05. Earned all-America honors, 2001-04. Earned first-team all-SEC honors, 2001-04. Named SEC Freshman Diver of the Year, 2001-02. University of Tennessee Swimmer/Diver of the Year, 2002-03. Tennessee No Guts No Glory Award, 2003-04. Member of the United States National Team, 1995-2004.

Service and leadership: Student-Athlete Advisory Committee president, 2004-05. Served on University of Tennessee Athletics Board, 2004-05. Worked with Mentoring Program at Colquitt Regional Hospital. President of Homeless Holiday Dinners and Baskets. Member of Read Aloud Program for children. Faith Promise Church Involvement and Service Chairman, 2001-05.

Excerpt from personal statement: "My goals have not changed since I was young, but they have deepened. Because of being a student-athlete, these dreams have now transformed into reality. These life lessons learned from being a student-athlete will travel with me and help me reach my goals as I go to the University of Georgia to be a compounding pharmacist."

 

Lindsay Hagerman
Washington and Lee University
Tennis

Academic achievements: American history major; graduated in June 2005. NCAA postgraduate scholarship recipient, 2004-05. Received 2005 Marjorie Berkley Award, given to the outstanding female student-athlete in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference. Virginia Sports Information Directors academic all-state team, 2004. Two-time ODAC Women's Tennis Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

Athletics accomplishments: Team co-captain, 2004-05. NCAA Division III singles champion, 2005. Earned NCAA all-American honors in singles (2002-04) and doubles (2003-04). Intercollegiate Tennis Association Senior of the Year, 2005. ODAC Player of the Year, 2004-05). Voted team MVP, 2002, 2004, 2005. ITA National Co-Rookie of the Year, 2002. Washington and Lee Freshman Female Athlete of the Year, co-recipient, 2002.

Service and leadership: Student-Athlete Advisory Committee member. Represented Washington and Lee at NCAA Division III Regional Leadership Conference, 2004. Served as a teacher's assistant and tutor. Helped raise funds for cystic fibrosis. Tutored at elementary, middle and high schools.

Excerpt from personal statement: "Athletics has taught me how to excel under pressure. Playing for a team in an otherwise individual sport enhanced my mental toughness, and this matured sense of confidence and determination has benefited me in other aspects of my life, academically and personally. Athletics taught me how to take risks and turn failures into success."

 

Michelle Reeser
University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa
Gymnastics

Academic achievements: Accounting major; graduated in May 2005. Southeastern Conference Gymnastics Scholar-Athlete of the Year, 2005. Four-time academic all-SEC. Member of National Society of Collegiate Scholars. Three-time Scholastic all-American. College of Commerce and Business Administration scholar-athlete award, 2004. Intern with Deutsche Bank in London; Jamison, Money, Farmer & Co., PC; and Ernst & Young.

Athletics accomplishments: Member of 2002 NCAA national championship team. Member of the 2003 SEC championship team. Four-time letter-winner in the all-around. Second-/third-team all-American.

Service and leadership: Visited patients on Valentine's Day at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Four-year participant in and 2004 organizer of bake sale for Project Angel Tree. Talked with elementary-school children about goal-setting. Served as receptionist and greeter and assisted with craft activities at the Children's Hands On Museum.

Excerpt from personal statement: "I have learned so much from my time at the University of Alabama, both in and out of the classroom, lessons I know will propel me to success in my postcollegiate life. I have learned the necessity of discipline, the bedrock that has supported my success in both the classroom and gym. And I've come to know that only through perseverance can you reach your full potential."

 

Alisha Williams
Western State College of Colorado
Cross country/track and field

Academic achievements: A May 2005 summa cum laude graduate; majored in accounting and business administration. Four-time academic all-American. Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year, 2004 and 2005.

Athletics accomplishments: Member of the 2001 and 2002 national championship cross country teams. Registered top-three finishes at the NCAA indoor track and field championships in the mile (2002, 2003, 2004) and 5000 meters (2003). Finished in the top three in the 1500- and 3000-meter races at the NCAA outdoor championships, 2002, 2004-05 and 2001-02, 2005, respectively. First-team all-RMAC selection in indoor track.

Service and leadership: Helped low-income citizens and the elderly prepare tax returns. Served as peer tutor for students in accounting and math. Tutored third-graders in reading as part of America Reads program. Elected to serve as a voting member of the Student Government Association (SGA), 2001-02. Served as vice-president of internal affairs for the SGA, 2003-04.

Excerpt from personal statement: "Deciding to compete as a collegiate athlete was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Setting high goals and being given the opportunity to achieve them has been one of the greatest benefits of being a student-athlete. My coaches, teammates and professors have always encouraged me to set high goals from myself; for that I am grateful."

 

Leah Geib
University of Delaware
Field hockey

Academic achievements: A May 2005 graduate; majored in communications with a concentration in mass communication and a minor in leadership. NCAA postgraduate scholarship recipient, 2005. Two-time Colonial Athletic Association Scholar-Athlete of the Year in field hockey.

Athletics accomplishments: Team captain, 2004. Member of the 2004 conference championship team. Four-year letter-winner. Second-/third-team all-American, 2004.

Service and leadership: Golden Key International Honor Society alumni representative/director (2005) and vice-president (2003-05). Female student representative on university's athletics governing board. Volunteered as peer mentor for Delaware student-athletes with Blue H.E.N.S. Mentor. Served as Student-Athlete Advisory Council Sportsmanship Committee chair. Worked as a counselor for Holy Angels After School Care Program. Served as coach and counselor with U.S. Field Hockey Association Futures Program.

Excerpt from personal statement: "During my four years of undergraduate studies, I have devoted my time to juggling various jobs and extracurricular activities such as intercollegiate athletics, community service and campus-based organizations. It's been a rewarding challenge to be involved in so many endeavors and still remain in the top 2 percent of my class. My success in the classroom is due to the strong foundation that athletics laid for me. Being a student-athlete refind my leadership skills, strengthened my habits of disciplined work and broadened my personal character."

 

Melissa Lehman
Barry University
Volleyball

Academic achievements: A communications studies major and public relations and sport management minor; graduated in May. Nominated for Communication Studies student of the year, 2005.

Athletics accomplishments: Team captain, 2003-04. Member of NCAA Division II national championship teams in 2001 and 2004. All-Sunshine State Conference second-/third-team selection at setter and defensive specialist, 2001.

Service and leadership: President of the National Communication Association Honor Society. Served as a mentor to area youth in volleyball fundamentals and the college student-athlete experience. One of seven Barry students selected to present aspects of college life to high-school guidance counselors as part of the Sunshine State Tour Student Panel. Served as secretary-treasurer (2004-05), team representative (2001-04), and chair of the public relations committee (2003-04) for campus SAAC.

Excerpt from personal statement: "My athletics career has taught me to maintain poise in pressure situations, to work with diverse personalities and cultures while working toward a goal, and to prepare to be the best. I also learned the value of laughter. Though competition is never easy, laughter became my antidote. It brought joy to my daily life, reduced team stress and brought a balance to my life that helped me make the most of every day."

 

Jennifer Skolaski
University of Iowa
Swimming and diving

Academic achievements: A May 2005 graduate; majored in social work. NCAA postgraduate scholarship recipient, 2005. Named Big Ten Conference scholar-athlete, 2003-04. Two-time academic all-Big Ten, 2002-03, 2003-04.

Athletics accomplishments: Team co-captain, 2003-04, 2004-05. Two-time all-American. Became the first female swimmer at Iowa to qualify for NCAA national meet all four years. Three-time second-/third-team all-Big Ten selection in the 200-yard breaststroke. Competed at the 2000 and 2004 U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials.

Service and leadership: Chair of the campus SAAC, 2004-05. Served as a volunteer with Hawkeye Pride, a program that tutors fourth- and fifth-graders and encourages leadership skills. Honored by the University of Iowa Health Center for volunteering more than 100 hours. Ronald McDonald House volunteer.

Excerpt from personal statement: "My goal had always been to be a top athlete, and I was closest to achieving this my sophomore year when I finaled at nationals. I dreamed of repeating this, but I was faced with coaching turnovers and personal injuries. By my senior year, I felt I had overcome these obstacles and was physically and mentally ready to accomplish this ultimate goal. I had the opportunity to work with distinguished coaches, teammates and other athletes who pushed and motivated me to always work harder and strive for more. Most importantly, this experience showed me that I could be a leader and a role model in my everyday actions."

 

State stars shine in 2005 WOTY kickoff

The NCAA News Online, August 29th, 2005

The campaign to crown the 15th annual NCAA Woman of the Year has begun with the selection of 51 state winners, including representatives from Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. There were no nominations from the state of Arizona.

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

Chosen by a committee of representatives from member institutions, 29 of the 2005 state honorees are from Division I, while 16 represent Division II and six are from Division III. They represent 15 sports.

The committee of institutional representatives also will select 10 finalists from the 51 state winners, based on grade-point average, athletics achievement and community service. The NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics will chose the national winner from among the 10 finalists. Finalists will be revealed in the September 26 issue of The NCAA News.

The 2005 NCAA Woman of the Year will be announced during the annual awards dinner October 29 in Indianapolis. ESPN personality Danielle Sargent and Kara Lawson, former University of Tennessee, Knoxville, women's basketball standout and a 2003 Woman of the Year top-10 finalist currently playing in the WNBA, will serve as emcees for the evening.

As part of the Woman of the Year weekend of activities, honorees will be working with youth and the Association's character-building program Stay in Bounds at the NCAA Hall of Champions.

This year's state winners were chosen from a pool of 352 nominations, 76 more than in 2004 and the most since 2000, when there also were 352 candidates for the honor. The pool showed an increase in diversity as well, specifically in African-American, international, Asian/Pacific Islander and Latina/Hispanic student-athletes.

Division I submitted 188 applications. Fifty-six nominations came from Division II and 111 were received from Division III. The numbers represent increases in submissions for all three divisions over last year, with Division I submitting 50 more applications and Divisions II and III registering more modest gains at 14 and 15, respectively.

Kelly Albin, a lacrosse student-athlete from the University of California, Davis, was recognized as the 2004 NCAA Woman of the Year. Albin is the third winner from UC Davis since the award's inception in 1991. The University of Georgia also has produced three national award winners.

State Name School Sport
Alaska Mindy Lindquist University of Alaska Anchorage Basketball, track and field, volleyball
Alabama Michelle Reeser University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa Gymnastics
Arkansas Jayme Butts University of Arkansas, Little Rock Soccer, swimming
California Ogonna Nnamani Stanford University Volleyball
Colorado Alisha Williams Western State College of Colorado Cross country, track and field
Connecticut Kristen Graczyk University of Connecticut Soccer
Washington, D.C. Colleen Kelly Georgetown University Cross country, track and field
Delaware Leah Geib University of Delaware Field hockey
Florida Melissa Lehman Barry University Volleyball
Georgia Samantha Arsenault University of Georgia Swimming
Hawaii Tracie Uchima University of Hawaii, Manoa Softball
Iowa Jennifer Skolaski University of Iowa Swimming
Idaho Tania Vander Meulen University of Idaho Cross country, track and field
Illinois Courtney Koester Northwestern University Basketball, lacrosse
Indiana Kate Endress Ball State University Basketball
Kansas Kendra Wecker Kansas State University Basketball
Kentucky Stephanie Leimbach Northern Kentucky University Softball
Louisiana Janice Ezegbunam Southeastern Louisiana University Track and field
Massachusetts Jennifer Walker Bentley College Field hockey
Maryland Stephanie LaGue Goucher College Swimming
Maine Kelly Cyr Saint Joseph's College (Maine) Soccer
Michigan Lindsey Gallo University of Michigan Cross country, track and field
Minnesota Heather Hamilton University of Minnesota Duluth Track and field
Missouri Sara Murray Truman State University Soccer
Mississippi Bernadette Sayles Delta State University Basketball
Montana Margot Merrill-Johnson Montana State University-Billings Soccer, tennis
North Carolina Shannon Davis Winston-Salem State University Bowling, softball
North Dakota Kinsey Coles North Dakota State University Cross country, track and field
Nebraska Richelle Simpson University of Nebraska, Lincoln Gymnastics
New Hampshire Erin Osborn Dartmouth College Lacrosse, soccer
New Jersey Mary Mewherter Georgian Court University Basketball, soccer
New Mexico Christina Spence University of New Mexico Golf
Nevada Alyssa Chin University of Nevada Swimming
New York Kate Chambers Hartwick College Water polo
Ohio Jill Boo Denison University Swimming
Oklahoma Valentina Medina Oklahoma State University Cross country, track and field
Oregon Julie Elliott University of Portland Track and field
Pennsylvania Deirdre Dlugonski Pennsylvania State University Swimming
Puerto Rico Yarisel Rodríguez University of Puerto Rico, Cayey Track and field, volleyball
Rhode Island Carly Muise Bryant University Softball
South Carolina Janiva Willis Winthrop University Softball
South Dakota Marci Miller University of South Dakota Track and field
Tennessee Lauryn McCalley University of Tennessee, Knoxville Swimming
Texas Jamie Carey University of Texas at Austin Basketball
Utah Lindsey Metcalf Brigham Young University Track and field, volleyball
Virginia Lindsay Hagerman Washington and Lee University Tennis
Vermont Brittany Cronin Middlebury College Soccer
Washington Corrie McDaniel Seattle Pacific University Gymnastics
Wisconsin Tara Schmitt University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point Basketball, soccer, track and field
West Virginia Lauren Deschamps Wheeling Jesuit University Soccer
Wyoming Shauna Smith University of Wyoming Track and field

 

2004 NCAA Woman of the Year

Albin Named 2004 NCAA Woman of the Year

For Immediate Release: Sunday, October 31, 2004
Contact: Jennifer Kearns, Associate Director of Public and Media Relations

Kelly Albin, 2004 NCAA Woman of the Year

INDIANAPOLIS---Kelly Albin, a former lacrosse standout at University of California, Davis, is the 2004 NCAA Woman of the Year.

Albin received the award - one of the most prestigious that the NCAA bestows - at the 14th annual NCAA Woman of the Year Awards Dinner tonight (October 31) at the Westin Indianapolis. The award honors academic and athletics excellence, as well as community service and leadership.

Albin was chosen from 276 nominations. A selection committee composed of representatives from member schools chose 52 winners representing the states, District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and then narrowed the field to 10 national finalists. The NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics selected Albin from among the 10 finalists.

The Fort Bragg, California, native is the third student-athlete from University of California - Davis, to be named NCAA Woman of the Year. Albin is also the second lacrosse athlete to win the award.

An outstanding scholar, Albin graduated magna cum laude in March with a 3.952 grade-point average (on a 4.0 scale) in food science with a microbiology emphasis. A recipient of the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, Albin was named to the CoSIDA Academic all-American Team, Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) Academic all-American Team and was the IWLCA Division II Scholar Athlete of the Year. She also received the UC Davis Outstanding Senior Leadership Award in 2004 and was consistently on the Dean's List and Intercollegiate Athletics Honor Roll throughout her college career.

Albin, who was ranked twelfth in NCAA Division II assists per game (1.71) in 2004, ranked nineteenth in NCAA Division II in points per game (4.24) in 2004; Third in conference points per game (4.40) in 2004 and set 18 UC Davis school records/top six all-time rankings. She broke six school records (shots in game, career assists, season assists, assists in a game, career ground balls, career turnovers). Her team finished the season ranked No. 2 in the final Inside Lacrosse Division II Power Poll.

Albin, the daughter of Doug and Tess Albin, spent much of her spare time volunteering for various organizations and events. She was a ProPERU volunteer in Urubamba, Peru, in 2003, where she spent 12 weeks teaching physical education; building clean-burning stoves in adobe houses; installing septic systems and flush toilets in a preschool; and planted 1,000 saplings on a reforestation site.

In addition, she volunteered for Shriner's Hospital; served as a tutor in the athletic study hall; took notes for a student with disabilities; served as a microbiology lab assistant; and participated in Student-Athlete Advisory Council Holiday Drives and a Christmas Flute Ensemble.

"As an athlete, I learned to speak the universal language of sports," Albin said in her personal statement on her nomination form. "When I spent three months in Peru last year as a full-time international volunteer, I used sports to connect with children in a way that transcended words. I am no longer a college athlete. But being an athlete has - and always will be - a part of who I am."

Last year's Woman of the Year was Ashley Jo Rowatt, a student-athlete from Kenyon College, a Division III school in Gambier, Ohio, who competed in swimming and diving and graduated with a degree in molecular biology.

2004 NCAA Woman of the Year Finalists Announced

For Immediate Release: Friday, September 17, 2004
Contact: Jennifer Kearns, Associate Director of Public and Media Relations

INDIANAPOLIS -The NCAA announced today the 10 finalists for the 2004 NCAA Woman of the Year award, one of the most prestigious honors the NCAA bestows.

This award recognizes young women in intercollegiate athletics for their outstanding achievements in athletics, academics and community service.

This year’s finalists, who have an average grade-point average of 3.81 on a 4.0 scale, graduated or will graduate with degrees in majors such as biology, chemistry, food science, kinesiology, math, pre-medicine and Spanish.

The 10 finalists for the 2004 NCAA Woman of the Year award include six NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship recipients, and seven of the 10 are or were involved with the NCAA Student-Athlete Advisory Committees (SAAC) on their campuses and in their conferences. SAAC is a committee made up of student-athlete leaders assembled to provide insight on the student-athlete experience. The SAAC also offers input on the rules, regulations and policies that affect student-athletes’ lives on NCAA member institution campuses and it is the “student voice” in the NCAA’s governance structure.

The finalists are volunteers who served as peer counselors, "adopted" a family at Christmas, volunteered for a food bank, worked with the Special Olympics and participated in a missions trip to Peru.

Of the finalists, six are from Division I member institutions, two are from Division II and two are from Division III. They represent a variety of sports, including lacrosse, swimming, indoor and outdoor track, cross country and soccer, from schools in California, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Michigan, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon and Virginia.

The 10 finalists are:

  • Kelly Albin, California, University of California, Davis, lacrosse. Hometown: Fort Bragg, California.
  • Julie Hardt, Georgia, University of Georgia, swimming. Hometown: Reno, Nevada.
  • Abbey Elsberry, Idaho, Boise State University, indoor and outdoor track. Hometown: Billings, Montana.
  • Megan Grunert, Indiana, University of Indianapolis, swimming. Hometown: Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin.
  • Sherita Williams, Michigan, Michigan State University, indoor and outdoor track. Hometown: Tampa, Florida.
  • Anna Crary, Massachusetts, Smith College, Rowing. Hometown: Scottsdale, Arizona.
  • Kayla Heising, Ohio, College of Wooster, swimming. Hometown: Wauseon, Ohio.
  • Shana Robinson, Oklahoma, University of Tulsa, indoor and outdoor track. Hometown: Tulsa, Oklahoma.
  • Imani Dorsey, Oregon, University of Portland, soccer. Hometown: Santa Monica, California.
  • Melissa Block, Virginia, Mary Washington College, lacrosse. Hometown: Annapolis, Maryland.

This is the 14th year the Woman of the Year award has been given.

The finalists were selected from 276 entries by a committee comprised of athletics administrators from NCAA member colleges and universities. The NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics will select the 2004 NCAA Woman of the Year from among the 10 finalists. The national winner will be announced at an awards dinner October 31, in Indianapolis.

Last year’s national winner was Ashley Rowatt, a swimming and diving standout from Kenyon College, a Division III school in Gambier, Ohio. She was the first student-athlete in Division III to win the award.

Other past winners include: 2002 - Tanisha Silas, track and field, University of California, Davis; 2001 - Kimberly A. Black, Olympic gold medal swimmer, University of Georgia; 2000 - Kristy Kowal, Olympic silver medal swimmer, University of Georgia; 1999 - Jamila Demby, track and field, University of California, Davis; 1998 - Peggy Boutilier, lacrosse and field hockey, University of Virginia; 1997 - the late Lisa Ann Coole, swimming, University of Georgia; 1996 - Billie Winsett Fletcher, volleyball, University of Nebraska, Lincoln; 1995 - Rebecca Lobo, basketball, University of Connecticut; 1994 - Tanya Hughes Jones, track and field, University of Arizona; 1993 - Nnenna Jean Lynch, cross country and track and field, Villanova University; 1992 - Catherine Byrne Maloney, swimming, University of Tennessee, Knoxville; and 1991 - Mary Beth Riley-Metcalf, cross country, Canisius College.

State winners announced for Woman of the Year Award

September 13, 2004

The selection process for the 14th annual NCAA Woman of the Year Award has begun with the announcement of 52 state winners (including Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico).

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

The 2004 state winners represent 12 sports. Thirty winners are from Division I schools, and 11 each are from Divisions II and III.

Each NCAA member institution was invited to nominate one student-athlete. For the fifth straight year, schools that submitted an ethnic minority candidate also were allowed to submit a second nominee. Twenty-six schools, the same number as in 2003, took advantage of the opportunity to do so.

The total number of applications, however, dropped from 338 in 2003 to 276 this year. Division I submitted 138 nominations, Division II submitted 42 and Division III submitted 96. It was the first year since 1998 that the total number of nominations fell below 300.

A committee composed of representatives from member institutions chose the state honorees. That same committee will chose 10 finalists from among the 52 state winners. Selection criteria include grade-point average, athletics accomplishments and community service.

The 10 finalists will be announced in the September 27 issue of The NCAA News.

The NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics will choose a national winner from among the 10 finalists. The national honoree will be announced during the 2004 NCAA Woman of the Year dinner October 31 in Indianapolis.

Dot Richardson, a former U.S. Olympic gold medal winner in softball, and Sheri Coale, head women's basketball coach at the University of Oklahoma, will emcee the 14th annual event.

As part of the NCAA Woman of the Year weekend activities, the 2004 honorees will visit Indianapolis-area middle schools to speak with children about their experiences as student-athletes and about balancing academics and athletics.

Ashley Jo Rowatt, a former swimming student-athlete at Kenyon College, was named as the 2003 Woman of the Year. Rowatt was the first Division III student-athlete to win the award.

State Winner School Sport(s)
Alabama Stephanie Kite University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa Gymnastics
Alaska Sigrid Aas University of Alaska Fairbanks Cross Country, Skiing
Arizona Nicole Gurnicz University of Arizona Outdoor Track and Field, Cross Country
Arkansas Jessica Johnson University of Arkansas, Fayetteville Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field
California Kelly Albin University of California, Davis Lacrosse
Colorado Rebekah Walter Adams State College Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field, Cross Country
Connecticut Brittany Allen Wesleyan University (Connecticut) Cross Country, Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field
Delaware Tyechia Smith University of Delaware Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field
District of Columbia Karla Kucerkova American University Volleyball
Florida Sara McLarty University of Florida Swimming and Diving
Georgia Julie Hardt University of Georgia Swimming and Diving
Hawaii Lily Kahumoku University of Hawaii, Manoa Volleyball
Idaho Abbey Elsberry Boise State University Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field
Illinois Sarah Martz DePaul University Softball
Indiana Megan Grunert University of Indianapolis Swimming and Diving
Iowa Raegan Schultz Central College (Iowa) Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field, Volleyball
Kansas Nicole Ohlde Kansas State University Basketball
Kentucky Cherelle Lampkins Morehead State University Volleyball
Louisiana Kristin Schmidt Louisiana State University Softball
Maine Elizabeth Wanless Bates College Volleyball, Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field
Maryland Courtney Davidson U.S. Naval Academy Basketball
Massachusetts Anna Crary Smith College Rowing
Michigan Sherita Williams Michigan State University Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field
Minnesota Cassie Busse University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Volleyball
Mississippi Kathryn Jaspers Mississippi State University Softball
Missouri Kathryn Hamera University of Missouri, Rolla Cross Country, Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field
Montana Brooklynn Lorenzen University of Montana Basketball
Nebraska Stephanie Kirby University of Nebraska at Omaha Soccer
Nevada Bridget Byrne University of Nevada, Las Vegas Softball
New Hampshire Lana Smith Dartmouth College Lacrosse
New Jersey Julie Culley Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick Cross Country, Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field
New Mexico Jennifer Delich University of New Mexico Skiing
New York Amanda Laytham Ithaca College Cross Country, Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field
North Carolina Heather Davis Winston-Salem State University Softball
North Dakota Jessica Schill University of North Dakota Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field, Cross Country
Ohio Kayla Heising College of Wooster Swimming and Diving
Oklahoma Shana Robinson University of Tulsa Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field
Oregon Imani Dorsey University of Portland Soccer
Pennsylvania Joanna Lohman Pennsylvania State University Soccer
Puerto Rico Ana C. Ramirez Marquez University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Volleyball, Outdoor Track and Field
Rhode Island Karen Prazar Brown University Rowing
South Carolina Anna Vagstad Winthrop University Volleyball
South Dakota Brianne Edwards University of South Dakota Outdoor Track and Field
Tennessee Kristin Peck Lipscomb University Softball, Volleyball
Texas Melanie Carter Abilene Christian University Basketball
Utah Erin Cartwright-Davis Utah State University Volleyball
Vermont Rebecca Brakeley Middlebury College Lacrosse, Field Hockey
Virginia Melissa Block Mary Washington College Lacrosse
Washington Hailey Noble University of Puget Sound Rowing
West Virginia Carmen Blissit Wheeling Jesuit University Cross Country, Outdoor Track and Field, Rowing
Wisconsin Kay Mikolajczak University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh Outdoor Track and Field, Basketball
Wyoming Kimama Wells University of Wyoming Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field

 

Conference honorees named for 2015 Woman of the Year

A record 147 NCAA college athletes have been named 2015 Woman of the Year honorees by conferences and independent schools.

2015-16 Woman of the Year conference nominations

First Name Last Name School Conference Sport(s)
Rebecca Acevedo Palm Beach Atlantic University Independent Volleyball
Cynthia Adams Lebanon Valley College Middle Atlantic Conference Cross Country; Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field
Sune Agbuke Baylor University Big 12 Conference Basketball
Courtney Albritton Valdosta State University Gulf South Conference Softball
Alison Alcott Belmont University Ohio Valley Conference Soccer
Mariana Alvarado Nava University of Maryland Eastern Shore Mid-Eastern Athletic Conf. Bowling
Nicole Barringer Averett University USA South Athletic Conference Volleyball; Basketball
Edina Begic University of Arkansas, Little Rock Sun Belt Conference Volleyball
Kristen Beikirch The Sage Colleges Skyline Conference Softball
Anna Berecz University of Alaska Anchorage Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association Skiing
Christine Bishop St. Mary's College of Maryland Capital Athletic Conference Field Hockey; Lacrosse
Divyajyoti (Divya) Biswal St. Lawrence University Liberty League Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field
Washida Blackman Mercer University Southern Conference Soccer
Ana Bogdanovski Johns Hopkins University Centennial Conference Swimming and Diving
Chloe Boutelle Saint Michael's College Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association Skiing; Cross Country
Caroline Brawner Colgate University Patriot League Soccer
Brianna Brink Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Southland Conference Volleyball
Alaysia Brown University of San Diego West Coast Conference Volleyball
Madeline Buckley William Smith College Liberty League Soccer
Cierra Burdick University of Tennessee, Knoxville Southeastern Conference Basketball
Victoria Buser Juniata College Landmark Conference Field Hockey
Lindsey Butterworth Simon Fraser University Great Northwest Athletic Conference Cross Country; Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field
Alyssa Calderon Caldwell University Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Softball
Francesca Ceppi University of Mount Olive Conference Carolinas Tennis
Jazmine Charles Lenoir-Rhyne University South Atlantic Conference Basketball
Caitlin Chase Florida Southern College Sunshine State Conference Lacrosse
Lucy Cheadle Washington University in St. Louis University Athletic Association Cross Country; Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field
Elena Ciccarelli Gallaudet University North Eastern Athletic Conference Soccer; Basketball; Softball
Jenny Cislo New Jersey Institute of Technology Independent Soccer
Cassandra Clayborne Bowie State University Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association Softball
Tehresa Coles Siena College Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Basketball
Elyse Cordova Academy of Art University Pacific West Conference Softball
Ta'Rea Cunnigan San Jose State University Mountain West Conference Basketball
Samantha Curran Wentworth Institute of Technology Commonwealth Coast Conference Volleyball; Softball
Supriya Davis Swarthmore College Centennial Conference Swimming and Diving
Kristin Day Clarion University of Pennsylvania Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Swimming and Diving
Megan Decker Cabrini College Colonial States Athletic Conference Basketball; Lacrosse
Colleen DeGraff Wesleyan College (Georgia) Great South Athletic Conference Softball
Lara Dendy Young Hartwick College Collegiate Water Polo Association Water Polo
Kimberly Dinh University of Wisconsin, Madison Big Ten Conference Golf
Valerie Dunlap Washington and Jefferson College Presidents' Athletic Conference Basketball
Elizabeth Eberhardt Central Connecticut State University Northeast Conference Cross Country; Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field
Valentina Eimbcke Boston University Patriot League Field Hockey
Nadia Eke Columbia University-Barnard College The Ivy League Indoor Track and Field
Jennifer Elsholz University of Toledo Mid-American Conference Golf
Becky Ely Messiah College MAC Commonwealth Field Hockey; Lacrosse
Nicole Eno Limestone College Conference Carolinas Volleyball
Patricia Fargas DePaul University Big East Conference Tennis
Kelly Foley University of St. Thomas (Minnesota) Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Volleyball
Linda Fritschken Barry University Sunshine State Conference Tennis
Michelle Gaye Marist College Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Cross Country; Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field
Nicki Gears University of West Alabama Gulf South Conference Soccer
Margo Geer University of Arizona Pac-12 Conference Swimming and Diving
Adriana Gjonovich California State University, Fullerton Big West Conference Soccer
Janine Godwin Louisiana Tech University Conference USA Softball
Bronte Goodhue University of the South Southern Athletic Association Tennis
Kelsey Graham Wheaton College (Illinois) College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin Soccer
Jenna Grasmeyer Hope College Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Volleyball
Nathalie Gruet Wellesley College New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference Field Hockey
Jennifer Hamson Brigham Young University West Coast Conference Basketball; Volleyball
Mary Hanson California Baptist University Pacific West Conference Swimming and Diving
Kalyn Harker Southern Illinois University at Carbondale Missouri Valley Conference Softball
Naja Harvey University of Maine, Orono America East Conference Swimming and Diving
Lindsey Hatch The College of New Jersey New Jersey Athletic Conference Field Hockey
Quanera Hayes Livingstone College Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association Cross Country; Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field
Theresa Hendrix Saint Joseph's College (Maine) Great Northeast Athletic Conference Softball; Field hockey; Basketball
Maryssa Arielle Herbert Cedarville University Great Midwest Athletic Conference Tennis
Madison Hess University of Texas at Dallas American Southwest Conference Basketball
Marisa Howard Boise State University Mountain West Conference Cross Country; Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field
Jennifer Howard Webster University St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Volleyball; Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field
Joanne Jablonski University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Softball
Kim Jacob University of Alabama Southeastern Conference Gymnastics
Anne Jacobsen University of Illinois at Chicago Horizon League Swimming and Diving
Alyssa Jasper Worcester State University Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference Volleyball; Indoor and Outdoor Track; Basketball
Brianne Jenner Cornell University The Ivy League Ice Hockey
Heather Johns Whitman College Northwest Conference Basketball
Loretta Johnson Aurora University Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field
Deidra Jordan Bethune-Cookman University Mid-Eastern Athletic Conf. Outdoor Track and Field
Emily Jorgens Trinity University (Texas) Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Soccer
Jamie Kaplan Tulane University American Athletic Conference Basketball
Jillian Katterhagen Washington and Lee University Old Dominion Athletic Conference Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field
Shanteona Keys Georgia College Peach Belt Conference Basketball
Olivia Krejcarek The College of St. Scholastica Upper Midwest Athletic Conference Volleyball; Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field
Ambika Krishnamachar Massachusetts Institute of Technology New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference Soccer
Hannah Landerholm Lesley University New England Collegiate Conference Soccer
Savanah Leaf University of Miami (Florida) Atlantic Coast Conference Volleyball
Kate Lehman Fort Hays State University Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association Basketball
See Wai Sharon Li Ithaca College Empire 8 Golf
Gina Lirange Bentley University` Northeast-10 Conference Field Hockey
Arielle Love Duquesne University Atlantic 10 Conference Volleyball
Madeline Lovrensky University of La Verne Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Swimming and Diving; Water Polo
Hannah Mackey Utica College Empire 8 Field Hockey
Margaret MacPhail DePauw University North Coast Athletic Conference Tennis
Amelia Maher University of Minnesota Duluth Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field
Megan Mahoney Misericordia University MAC Freedom Soccer
Ariel Marsh California State Polytechnic University, Pomona California Collegiate Athletic Association Basketball
Samantha Marshall Western Illinois University The Summit League Softball
Christina Matheny Wingate University South Atlantic Conference Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field
Abigail Max State University of New York at Geneseo State University of New York Athletic Conference Swimming and Diving
Alison Maxwell Middlebury College New England Small College Athletic Conference Cross Country; Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field
Hannah McGinnis Illinois College Midwest Conference Basketball
Tiffany Minor Old Dominion University Conference USA Basketball
Anna Murdock Franklin College Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Cross Country; Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field
Rufaro Mushavi Limestone College East Coast Athletic Conference Division II Field Hockey Field Hockey
Suzanna Ohlsen Seattle Pacific University Great Northwest Athletic Conference Basketball
Yuliya Orkis Brooklyn College City University of New York Athletic Conference Tennis
Marylu Ortiz Notre Dame of Maryland University Colonial States Athletic Conference Volleyball; Basketball; Softball
Julianne Osborne Campbell University Big South Conference Basketball
Meghan O'Sullivan Castleton State College North Atlantic Conference Basketball
Kelsey Pelletier Columbus State University Peach Belt Conference Soccer
Emily Pfalzer Boston College Hockey East Conference Ice Hockey
Jessica Plant University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Big Ten Conference Swimming and Diving
Miranda Polaski Post University Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Lacrosse; Tennis
Maren Prediger West Virginia University Great America Rifle Conference Rifle
Colleen Quigley Florida State University Atlantic Coast Conference Cross Country; Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field
Cayla Ray University of Pittsburgh, Greensburg Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference Tennis
Michaela Reesor Samford University Southern Conference Volleyball
Haley Richter St. Mary's University (Texas) Heartland Conference Softball
Alyssa Ritchie University of North Carolina Wilmington Colonial Athletic Association Tennis
Kassandra Rivera Texas Southern University Southwestern Athletic Conference Golf
Monique Roberge Queens College (New York) East Coast Conference Softball
Zoe Scandalis University of Southern California Pac-12 Conference Tennis
Markea Sheppard Claflin University Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Softball
Jae Shin Humboldt State University California Collegiate Athletic Association Basketball
Pamela Showman University of Findlay Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Cross Country; Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field
Emily Sisson Providence College Big East Conference Cross Country; Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field
Taylor Skala Rockhurst University Great Lakes Valley Conference Soccer; Basketball
Melissa Spahar John Carroll University Ohio Athletic Conference Basketball
Alyssa Stanek Nebraska Wesleyan University Independent Volleyball; Basketball
Madison Stein University of Kansas Big 12 Conference Softball
Holly Stewart University of Maine, Orono America East Conference Field Hockey
Rebekah Stewart Southern Nazarene University Great American Conference Soccer; Tennis
Kiah Stokes University of Connecticut American Athletic Conference Basketball
Erin Stone Southern Utah University Big Sky Conference Gymnastics; Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field
Janelle Strampe South Dakota School of Mines & Technology Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Volleyball; Basketball
Samantha Strausbaugh Jacksonville University Atlantic Sun Conference Volleyball; Sand Volleyball
Rebecka Surtevall Arkansas Tech University Great American Conference Golf
Emma Svensson Florida Gulf Coast University Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association Swimming and Diving
Devon Tabata Duquesne University Atlantic 10 Conference Soccer
Johanna Vang Northern Arizona University Big Sky Conference Tennis
Langley Vannoy Troy University Sun Belt Conference Golf
Stephanie Verdoia Seattle University Western Athletic Conference Soccer
Ivy Watts University of New Haven Northeast-10 Conference Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field
Chontiquah White West Texas A&M University Lone Star Conference Basketball
Kelsie Wills Hofstra University Colonial Athletic Association Volleyball
Bailey Wilson Wartburg College Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Volleyball
Nina Wojtkiewicz Western Connecticut State University Little East Conference Softball, Volleyball

2003 NCAA Woman of the Year

 

Kenyon swimmer surfaces as 2003 Woman of the Year

Rowatt is first from Division III to be named

The NCAA News, November 10, 2003
By Leilana McKindra

 

Ashley Jo Rowatt 2003 NCAA Woman of the Year

Ashley Jo Rowatt, a former swimming standout at Kenyon College, was named the 2003 NCAA Woman of the Year during the 13th annual awards dinner November 1 in Indianapolis.

Rowatt, who was selected from about 350 nominations, is the first student-athlete from Kenyon and the first from Division III to earn the honor.

After accepting the award, Rowatt thanked her family, coaches, professors and teammates for inspiring her to achieve. She also congratulated each of the state winners who shared the stage with her.

"There is no reason to compete in athletics if it's not bringing you enjoyment. Compete for the love of the sport and for yourself, not for other people or for any other pressures that might get to you," Rowatt said.

Rowatt graduated summa cum laude with highest honors last May with a degree in molecular biology. She earned distinction as a two-time Verizon Academic All-American and was named that program's Academic All-American of the Year in 2003. Rowatt, an NCAA postgraduate scholarship recipient, was the Robert Bowen Brown Jr. Prize winner, which recognizes best original research in biology at Kenyon, and recipient of the 2003 Jess Falkenstine Award, given for the outstanding Kenyon scholar-athlete who exemplifies leadership and integrity.

A four-year qualifier for the NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championships, Rowatt was a two-time individual NCAA champion in the 400-yard individual medley and the 800-yard freestyle relay. She also captured an NCAA championship in the 200-yard individual medley. Her team won the Division III championship in 2000, 2002 and 2003 and earned four North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) championships. At the conference championships, she won four events and was named all-NCAC nine times.

Rowatt also found time to reach out to the community as well as play the flute at Kenyon despite a schedule laden with commitments to her academic and athletics pursuits.

She was a member of the American Chemical Society for students and Kenyon Bible studies. In addition, Rowatt was a four-year member of the the Symphonic Wind Ensemble and was elected as flute section leader as a senior. She was a member of her campus student-athlete committee and tutored trouble youth.

Rowatt points to her family's support as key to her achievements. She also cited the support of her Kenyon swimming teammates as a secret to her success.

"Just seeing them being dedicated to the classroom and dedicated to the pool really put it in my head that something like this was possible," Rowatt said.

Rowatt said she also drew inspiration from a former club coach, who also was an Olympian and former world record holder. She said that coach encouraged her to work harder and set priorities that include faith, family, academics and swimming.

"I thought it was a really great way to think about it and I've adopted that priority system," she said. "She's been a great inspiration to me, specifically for giving me that bit of advice."

The Louisville, Kentucky, native has turned her attention to medical school and is currently attending Vanderbilt University. However, Rowatt has yet to select a specialty, although she's certain she'd like to practice rather than research.

"I'm thinking about primary care, but I'm also thinking about almost every other specialty there is so my eyes are open to the possibilities right now," she said.

Rowatt has retired from the pool, but those competitive juices continue to bubble just under the surface. Although she admits she hasn't set any definite goals, she is interested in picking up biking with an eye toward competing in a triathlon one day.

As for words of wisdom to other young women athletes, Rowatt reiterates what her club coach told her.

"Work harder than hard. Everybody else out there is going to be working hard. You have to work harder than hard," she said.

Finally, Rowatt stressed the importance of education.

"You can't play the game if you don't have the grades," she said. "I find often that the best athletes are the best in academics. They are not inconsistent with each other because they carry over. You're going to be better at academics because you're better at athletics and vice versa."

Last year's Woman of the Year was Tanisha Silas, a student-athlete from the University of California, Davis, who competed in track and field and graduated with a degree in neurobiology, physiology and behavior.

 

Woman of the Year finalists announced

Field demonstrates academic, athletics achievement

The NCAA News, September 29, 2003

 

2003 Award Dinner Video

Ten finalists have been chosen for the 2003 NCAA Woman of the Year, which recognizes young women for outstanding achievement in athletics, academics and community service.

The 10 finalists are: Elia Burrill, U.S. Air Force Academy -- fencing; Susan Churchwell, University of California, Davis -- softball; Victoria Courmes, Barry University -- tennis; Joanna Hingle, Duke University -- rowing; Melissa D. Jones, Monmouth University (Illinois) -- basketball, volleyball, and indoor and outdoor track and field; Tiffany Kyser, Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis -- basketball; Kara Lawson, University of Tennessee, Knoxville -- basketball; Erika Paige Proko, Washington and Lee University -- tennis; Ashley Jo Rowatt, Kenyon College -- swimming and diving; and Kristin B. Sterner, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa -- gymnastics.

The NCAA Woman of the Year will be announced November 1 in Indianapolis.

Following are some of the accomplishments of the 10 finalists.

 

Alabama
Kristin B. Sterner
Gymnastics
University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa

Academic achievement: Biology major who is expected to graduate in December 2003. Scholastic all-American, 2000-03. Named as Alabama Women's Scholar-Athlete of the Year, 2002-03. Southeastern Conference Boyd McWhorter Scholarship, 2003. Phi Eta Sigma, Alpha Lambda Delta, and Beta, Beta, Beta honorary societies. Academic all-SEC, 2001-02; National Society of Collegiate Scholars, 2000-03. Awarded 2003 NCAA postgraduate scholarship.

Athletics achievement: NCAA team champion, 2002; conference team champion, 2000 and 2003. Regional champion in the vault, balance beam and all-around competition. All-American in the floor exercise, uneven parallel bars, balance beam, vault and all-around competition. All-conference on the balance beam, 2000-01.

Service and leadership: Hosted community Halloween party for children, 2000-03. Student-Athlete Advisory Board, 2000-03. Volunteer at Bama Rama gymnastics event entertaining more than 500 youth gymnasts. Team captain, 2001-03.

Excerpt from personal statement: "The combination of opportunities in academics, athletics and community service has advanced me toward reaching my goals of attending medical school, becoming a top physician and being a leader in the community."

Hometown: Ionia, Michigan.

 

California
Susan Churchwell
Softball
University of California, Davis

Academic achievements: Economics major who graduated in June 2003. Selected as a Verizon Academic All-American. Nominee for conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year, 2003. Received economics department citation for excellence, 2003. Received W.P. Lindley Award, 2002, which is considered the most competitive and prestigious award for a student-athlete at UC Davis. Member of the Golden Key Honor Society, Phi Beta Kappa.

Athletics achievements: Holds five school records. Most outstanding player, member of the 2003 NCAA championship all-tournament team. NCAA champions, 2003. Two-time National Fastpitch Coaches Association all-American. Led Division II in earned-run average (0.21) in 2001.

Service and leadership: Participated in the annual student-athlete drive to collect food, gifts, clothes and supplies for the Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Left. Selected to assist a professor as a peer tutor for intermediate macroeconomics. Volunteered for the Northern California Special Olympics and at St. Martin's Episcopal Church. Student-Athlete Advisory Committee member.

Excerpt from personal statement: "...yet the life lessons I've learned from my experiences in the classroom, in the community and on the field at UC Davis have shaped me for the rest of my life. The games in college are over -- and I am ready to step up to the plate to face my next challenge."

Hometown: Lake Forest, California.

 

Colorado
Elia Burrill
Fencing
U.S. Air Force Academy

Academic achievement: Business management major who graduated in May 2003. Received the overall order of merit for cadet performance and the outstanding summer research award. Honored with the Mountain West Scholar-Athlete Award for 2001-03. Received an NCAA postgraduate scholarship and was nominated as the Mountain West Student-Athlete of the Year. Chosen as a 2003 Verizon Academic All-District VII selection.

Athletics achievement: Member of the U.S. Fencing Team at the World Cups in 2002. Three-time most valuable fencer. Three-time Western regional champion on women's epee. Four-time NCAA championships qualifier. Academic all-American and three-time team MVP. Team participated in four consecutive NCAA and conference championships, 2000 to 2003.

Service and leadership: Volunteer for Baby Track, which teaches English to mothers. Participated in a summer internship at the Pentagon. Team captain, 2001-03. Squadron Academic Non-Commission Officer, Squadron Flight Non-Commissioned Officer, and Squadron Element Leader.

Excerpt from personal statement: "The responsibility to both my team and my subordinate cadets taught me the essence of servant leadership and necessity for personal excellence."

Hometown: Truckee, California.

 

Florida
Victoria Courmes
Tennis
Barry University

Academic achievements: Political science major who graduated in May 2003. Selected as the University Scholar-Athlete of the Year, 2002, 2003. Four-time recipient of Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Scholar all-American; four-time Sunshine State Conference. Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Member of the Alpha Chi and Pi Gamma Mu honor societies.

Athletics achievements: Singles: First-team ITA all-American, 2000-03. First-team all-conference, 2000-03. Doubles: First-team ITA all-American, 2001-02. National team runner-up, 2003; third-place finishes in 2001, 2002. Finished career with most No. 1 singles wins in school history (60).

Service and leadership: Served on Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. Mentored a child with a disability; served food to the homeless. Three-year peer tutor, selected among student-athletes with a 3.500 grade-point average or higher. Senator for student government, 2002-03. Team captain, 2002-03.

Excerpt from personal statement: "The culturally diverse team (Latin America, Europe, Africa and U.S.) encouraged me to sharpen my diplomatic skills in order to effectively communicate with and inspire teammates from different cultures, helping them achieve their highest potential through both victory and defeat."

Hometown: Bastia, France.

 

Illinois
Melissa D. Jones
Volleyball, Basketball, Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field
Monmouth College (Illinois)

Academic achievements: Physical education major who graduated cum laude in May 2003. Academic all-conference in volleyball, basketball, and indoor and outdoor track. Second-team basketball Verizon Academic All-District V in 2003. Member of the Blue Key and Kappa Delta Pi educational honor societies.

Athletics achievements: Volleyball: School record holder in games played (495), kill attempts in a season (1,412), and season kill attempts per game (11.12). All-conference selection, 2000 and 2003. Basketball: Owns seven school records. Member of the all-conference first-team. Track and field: Four-time all-American for high jump. All-conference member in both indoor and outdoor track and field. Owns school and conference high-jump record.Team won conference indoor championship, 2000, 2002 and 2003; outdoor conference champions, 2000-03.

Service and leadership: Served on Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. VIVA Quad Cities volunteer, 2001-03. Mentor for students with special needs, 2002-03. Volleyball team captain, 2002; basketball captain, 2001-03.

Excerpt from personal statement: "Athletics teaches us if we attack our challenges by setting goals and meeting them through discipline, organization and hard work, we can be successful in sports and life. Special athletics moments make you realize all the hard work is worth it."

Hometown: Port Byron, Illinois.

 

Indiana
Tiffany Kyser
Basketball
Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis

Academic achievements: English education major who graduated in May 2003. Earned university's outstanding female student leader award, 2001-03. Verizon Academic All-American, 2003; All-District, 2001-02. Creamland Dairies National College Basketball Student-Athlete of the Year, 2003. IU School of Education of Indianapolis Outstanding Student Award. Recipient of the Indianapolis YWCA Salute to Women of Achievement Award, 2003.

Athletics achievements: First-team all-conference, 2001-03. Conference defensive player of the year and player of the year, 2003. Owns school records for rebounds (874), free throws made (486), free throws made in a season (144) and games played (113). One of three players in the conference to score 1,500 career points and grab 800 career rebounds.

Service and leadership: Served on Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, 1999-2001. Traveled on mission trip with other conference women's basketball players to Mexico, 2002. Member of the Black Student Union, Campus Crusade for Christ, and English Club. Motivational speaker to elementary schools in central Indiana. Participated in National Institute for Fitness and Sport's ECO-Clean Team, 1999-2003.

Excerpt from personal statement: "During my four years at IUPUI, I went through an incredible amount of difficulties with adjusting to the campus, making new friends, learning about myself, dealing with classes. But l learned as a child and am still learning that we are made through how we react to adverse situations."

Hometown: Indianapolis.

 

North Carolina
Joanna Hingle
Rowing
Duke University

Academic achievement: Civil engineering major who graduated in May 2003. Received the Architectural Engineering Certificate and Aubrey Palmer Award for Excellence in Civil Engineering, 2003. National Rowing Scholar-Athlete, 2001-03, and Verizon Academic All-District, 2002. Awarded conference Weaver-James-Corrigan postgraduate scholarship.

Athletics achievement: All-conference member, 2001-03; all-region member, 2001-03; all-American, 2001. Team finished second at the 2003 Atlantic Coast Conference championships.

Service and leadership: Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers. Board member and program chair for Society of Women Engineers, 1999-03. First-year advisory counselor and Special Olympics volunteer. Teaching assistant for architectural engineering, 2002-03. Team captain, 2001-03.

Excerpt from personal statement: "My commitment to excellence in engineering and rowing have made time my most valuable resource, and I've enjoyed using the free time I've made to participate in freshman buddy programs, take advantage of campus productions and spend time with the amazing people I have met."

Hometown: Alexandria, Virginia.

 

Ohio
Ashley Jo Rowatt
Swimming and Diving
Kenyon College

Academic achievement: Molecular biology major who graduated summa cum laude and distinction in May 2003. Two-time Verizon Academic All-American (2002, 2003) and 2003 Verizon Academic All-American of the Year. Recipient of the Robert Bowen Brown Jr. Prize, given for best original research in biology, and the 2003 Jess Falkenstine Award, given to the outstanding scholar-athlete who exemplifies leadership and integrity.

Athletics achievement: Two-time NCAA champion in the 400-yard individual medley and 800-yard freestyle relay, and one-time champion in the 200-yard individual medley. Thirteen-time all-American and nine-time all-North Coast Athletic Conference selection. Four-time conference champion as an individual and member of four-time conference championship team. Three-time NCAA team champions.

Service and leadership: Member of the American Chemical Society for Students, Kenyon Bible Studies and the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, 1999-03. Served on the Student Athletic Committee, 2002-03, and tutored trouble youth. Flute section leader in symphonic band and team co-captain, 2002-03.

Excerpt from personal statement: "While academic pursuits are my top priority, I not only found a balance among athletics, academics, service and leadership, but also thrived in these endeavors. I look forward to bringing the enthusiasm that I contributed to the Kenyon community to Vanderbilt Medical School next year."

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky.

 

Tennessee
Kara Lawson
Basketball
University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Academic achievement: Finance major who graduated magna cum laude in May 2003. Verizon Academic All-American, 2002-03; three-time academic all-conference. Named Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars Female Student-Athlete of the Year, 2002-03, and received National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics Director's Cup Division I Award. Awarded Tennessee's Torchbearer Award, which is the school's highest student honor, 2002-03.

Athletics achievement: School record holder in career three-point field goals (256), three-point field goals attempted (617), and free-throw percentage (84.7). Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award honoree, 2002-03. Two-time Tennessee basketball athlete of the year. Member of the 2003 Women's Final Four all-tournament team.

Service and leadership: Served on Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, 2000-03; president, 2002-03. Member of university's athletics board, 2001-03. Member of the Southeastern Conference Good Works Team, Fellowship of Christian Athletes Leadership Team and organizer of Kara Lawson's Give Back Clinics. Team captain, 2001-02.

Excerpt from personal statement: "So many of the values that I hold as pivotal for success in life have been born from or strengthened by my collegiate experience. My collegiate career, both athletically and academically, allowed me to appreciate the importance of diversity in my life. I would like to be someone who can enlighten, encourage, inspire and lead others."

Hometown: Alexandria, Virginia.

 

Virginia
Erika Paige Proko
Tennis
Washington and Lee University

Academic achievement: Neuroscience major who graduated in June 2003. Verizon Academic All-District, 2001-02. School's freshman female athlete of the year and senior female athlete of the year. Recipient of Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) woman scholar athlete award, 2003.

Athletics achievement: Six-time all-American, which is a school record. All-time leader in doubles wins (104). Third in school history in singles wins (92).

Service and leadership: Chair of ODAC Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), 2001-03; NCAA Division III SAAC, 2001-03. Volunteered at Rockbridge free clinic and Lifestyle Information for Everyone.

Excerpt from personal statement: "As I enter medical school to work toward my goal of being a physician who makes a difference, my involvement in collegiate athletics has prepared me well to meet the challenges ahead."

Hometown: Charlotte, North Carolina.
 

 

Woman of the Year selection group names state winners

The NCAA has selected 50 Woman of the Year state winners for 2003.

The NCAA News, September 15, 2003

 

2003 NCAA Woman of the Year Logo

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

Forty-nine states and the District of Columbia are represented among the 2003 state winners. No nominations were received from schools in New Mexico. Twenty-nine honorees are from Division I institutions, nine are from Division II schools and 12 represent Division III institutions. The winners represent 17 sports.

Each NCAA member institution was invited to nominate a student-athlete for the 13th annual awards program. For the fourth year, schools were allowed to submit a second nominee if one candidate was an ethnic minority. Twenty-six schools did so, down one from last year.

Of the 338 total nominations received, 176 came from Division I, 56 were submitted by Division II institutions and 106 were received from Division III schools.

A committee consisting of representatives from member institutions chose the state winners. That same committee will chose 10 finalists from among the 50 state winners. Selection criteria include grade-point average, athletics accomplishments and community service.

The 10 finalists will be announced in the September 29 issue of The NCAA News.

A national winner, chosen by the NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics from among the 10 finalists, will be announced during the 2003 Woman of the Year dinner November 1 at the Marriott Downtown Indianapolis.

Robin Roberts of ABC's "Good Morning America," and Nell Fortner, head coach of the Women's National Basketball Association's Indiana Fever, will serve as emcees for the event.

Also, in conjunction with the NCAA Woman of the Year award weekend, honorees will participate in the NCAA Sports Spectacular, a sports clinic for boys and girls ages 10 through 18.

Last year's national winner was Tanisha Silas, a track student-athlete from the University of California, Davis.
 

Woman of the Year State Winners

State

Winner

School

Sport

Alabama

Kristin B. Sterner

University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa

Gymnastics

Alaska

Leslie Boyd

University of Alaska Anchorage

Cross country, skiing

Arizona

Lisa Aguilera

Arizona State University

Cross country, indoor and outdoor track

Arkansas

Kattie Shepherd

University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

Swimming

California

Susan Churchwell

University of California, Davis

Softball

Colorado

Elia Burrill

U.S. Air Force Academy

Fencing

Connecticut

Kate O'Neill

Yale University

Cross country

Delaware

Julie Van Deusen

University of Delaware

Swimming

District of Columbia

Lindsey Davidson

George Washington University

Basketball

Florida

Victoria Courmes

Barry University

Tennis

Georgia

Candace Turner

Columbus State University

Basketball

Hawaii

Margaret Vakasausau

University of Hawaii, Manoa

Volleyball

Idaho

Angela Whyte

University of Idaho

Indoor and outdoor track

Illinois

Melissa D. Jones

Monmouth College (Illinois)

Basketball, outdoor track, volleyball

Indiana

Tiffany Kyser

Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis

Basketball

Iowa

Jessica Jensen

Buena Vista University

Basketball, outdoor track

Kansas

Sarah Wuertz

Emporia State University

Indoor and outdoor track

Kentucky

Travece Turner

Morehead State University

Basketball

Louisiana

Trina Peters

Nicholls State University

Cross country, indoor and outdoor track

Maine

Elizabeth Anne Barney

Bowdoin College

Cross country, indoor and outdoor track

Maryland

Julie Shank

University of Maryland, College Park

Lacrosse

Massachusetts

Marret Kjestina Arfsten

Wellesley College

Field hockey

Michigan

Janessa Grieco

University of Michigan

Gymnastics

Minnesota

Teresa Thompson

University of St. Thomas (Minnesota)

Soccer

Mississippi

Mira Radu

University of Mississippi

Tennis

Missouri

Rebecca Rotello

Washington University (Missouri)

Volleyball

Montana

Lacy Hinzpeter

Montana State University-Bozeman

Indoor and outdoor track

Nebraska

Laura Pilakowski

University of Nebraska, Lincoln

Basketball, volleyball

Nevada

Jessica Raelynn Zarndt

University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Cross country, indoor and outdoor track

New Hampshire

Correne Bredin

Dartmouth College

Ice hockey

New Jersey

Alexis Diane Jemal

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick

Fencing

New York

Melissa White

State University College at Geneseo

Cross country

North Carolina

Joanna Hingle

Duke University

Rowing

North Dakota

Becky Moen

University of North Dakota

Basketball

Ohio

Ashley Jo Rowatt

Kenyon College

Swimming

Oklahoma

Lauren Bay

Oklahoma State University

Softball

Oregon

Elizabeth Jillson

Oregon State University

Gymnastics

Pennsylvania

Lauren Schmidt

Carnegie Mellon University

Volleyball

Rhode Island

Jessica Cooper

Brown University

Volleyball

South Carolina

Kristy McPherson

University of South Carolina, Columbia

Golf

South Dakota

Melissa Pater

South Dakota State University

Basketball

Tennessee

Kara Lawson

University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Basketball

Texas

Kendra Anderson

Hardin-Simmons University

Basketball

Utah

Katie Martin-Sabey

Brigham Young University

Cross country, indoor and outdoor track

Vermont

Elizabeth LeFebvre

St. Michael's College

Basketball

Virginia

Erika Paige Proko

Washington and Lee University

Tennis

Washington

Paige Benjamin

University of Washington

Volleyball

West Virginia

Toni Alexandria Riley

Fairmont State College

Swimming

Wisconsin

Jocelyn Christine Loe

University of Wisconsin, La Crosse

Indoor and outdoor track

Wyoming

Carrie Bacon

University of Wyoming

Basketball

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2002 NCAA Woman of the Year

 

UC Davis runner wins 'life race' with NCAA recognition

By Kay Hawes, The NCAA News, November 11, 2002

 

Tanisha Silas 2002 NCAA Woman of the Year

Tanisha Silas' specialty was the 400 meters, but it is her performance in the race of life that makes her stand out.

Silas, a former track student-athlete at the University of California, Davis, was named the 2002 NCAA Woman of the Year November 2 in Indianapolis.

A six-time all-American and three-time conference champion, Silas also graduated with honors in neurobiology, physiology and behavior -- all while volunteering as a peer counselor and as an intern in the pediatrics emergency room at the UC Davis medical center.

"By far this is the biggest honor I have ever received," Silas said when she accepted the award.

Silas also noted the need to advance women's athletics further. "Young women's athletics has come a long way, and if we all keep working together as a team, there's no limit to what we can accomplish."

It's a long way from the ghetto of Vallejo, California, to the stage of the Westin in Indianapolis at the 2002 NCAA Woman of the Year dinner, but it's a path that Silas set out on while she was very young. Now a medical student at UC Davis, Silas is fulfilling a dream she's had since junior high. She plans to become a family doctor and help those who need medical care the most.

"I saw a real need in my community for health care," she said. "People don't have insurance, so often they go without care."

But long before she even enrolled in college, Silas had to endure the violence and poverty of her childhood surroundings. Her brother and her best friend were murdered, and her dad was a foster parent, so she had a constantly changing cast of foster siblings.

"Drug dealers and prostitutes were common in my neighborhood," Silas said. "It was an unforgiving environment for a young girl who dared to dream of being the first in her family to go to college. Athletics was my escape from reality, something I initially did because I didn't want to go home after school."

Silas funneled that need to escape into her schoolwork and her running, where she excelled at both. She joined the track team at UC Davis and ran in the 400 meters and in the 1,600-meter relay. On the academic side, she posted four quarters with a perfect grade-point average and 15 consecutive quarters above a 3.000.

Far from being even a two-dimensional person, though, she also performed with the UC Davis Gospel Choir and sang for California Gov. Gray Davis' Healing Day in remembrance of the 9-11 victims.

When the choice was performing with the choir at Carnegie Hall in 2001 or competing in the NCAA championships, she chose athletics, helping lead her team to a tie for fourth in Division II.

"Nationals or Carnegie Hall? I just couldn't imagine letting down my coach, who had done so much for me and had supported me through so many things," Silas said.

When Silas accepted the award, she thanked her coach as well as an extraordinarily large number of family members, friends and mentors for their support. Without their assistance, Silas said, she wouldn't have her degree, her all-American titles or her future as a doctor.

"You know that cliche, 'it takes a village to raise a child' -- well, it really does take a village, particularly in the neighborhood where I grew up," she said. "I wouldn't be where I am today without the love and support of all of those people."

Silas credits her own ability to dream for her determination.

"I know my strength has been God and my ability to believe in myself. If you can envision it and picture it in your mind, you are one step closer," she said.

"Athletics has given me essential life tools that could not be learned in a classroom -- as well as the keys to achieve my dream. Medical school is my next relay. I'm confident I will thrive there because of my experiences as a student-athlete. Someday, when I am working as a family practitioner in an underserved community, I'll have one word of advice for other young girls: dream!"

Silas is the second student-athlete from UC Davis to be named NCAA Woman of the Year. Jamila Demby, also a track all-American, received the honor in 1999.

A winner worthy of recognition

The 2003 NCAA Woman of the Year, Tanisha Silas from the University of California, Davis, has an impressive list of accomplishments in academics, athletics and community service.

Academics

  • First-year medical student at the University of California, Davis, medical school.
  • Graduated with highest honors with an undergraduate degree in neurobiology, physiology and behavior.
  • Won UC Davis Division of Biological Sciences Departmental Citation of Academic Excellence in 2002.
  • Completed honors thesis project focusing on macaque monkeys' vocalization and neural processing.
  • Won outstanding senior leadership award in 2001 and was named a member of the Golden Key National Honor Society.
  • Won Arthur Ashe Jr. National Sports Scholar Award in 2000.
  • Was a member of the dean's list from 1998 to the conclusion of her undergraduate degree.
  • Performed with UC Davis Gospel Choir an average of five times per quarter. Recorded a CD with the choir in 2002.

Athletics

  • Competed in indoor and outdoor track and field, becoming a six-time all-American and three-time conference champion.
  • Served as captain of the track and field team.
  • Helped lead her team to fourth-place finish in Division II in indoor track in 2001 and a fifth-place finish in outdoor track in 2000 and 2001.
  • Qualified for the NCAA outdoor track tournament in the 400-meter run in 2001.
  • Helped set a school record in the 2001 indoor 1,600-meter relay.
  • Helped set a school record in the 2000 outdoor 1,600-meter relay.
  • Ranks third in school history in the 400-meter run.

Community Service

  • Volunteered as an intern in the pediatrics emergency room and in the geriatrics department. Fed, bathed and comforted patients suffering from diabetes, HIV and the after-effects of strokes and heart attacks.
  • Served as a peer counselor to other student-athletes, giving presentations on topics ranging from time management to eating disorders.
  • Served as a track and field clinic instructor for the Special Olympics, training coaches to work with children and adults with physical and developmental disabilities.
  • Coordinated volunteers from the track team to assist the Shriner's Hospital at its annual Thanksgiving outreach program.
  • Chaired the UC Davis Reception Committee for a celebration of the school's African-American graduates, which hosts 2,000 attendees each year. Duties included organizing the ceremony, fund-raising a budget of $13,000, managing the publicity for the event and choosing the speakers.
  • Coordinated volunteers from UC Davis to work at the Davis Stampede Road Race.

 

Woman of the Year finalists have achievement in common

The NCAA News, September 16, 2002

2002 NCAA Woman of the Year finalists

Ten finalists have been selected for the 2002 NCAA Woman of the Year Award, which recognizes young women for their outstanding achievements in athletics, academics and community service.

The 10 finalists are: Shannon A. Bowles, University of Utah -- gymnastics; Ann Marie Brooks, University of Missouri, Columbia -- cross country and indoor and outdoor track and field; Morgan Buckner, Ferris State University -- volleyball and indoor and outdoor track and field; Alison Connolly, Middlebury College -- lacrosse and soccer; Angela Knopf, Colorado State University -- volleyball; Anna Denise Mickelson, University of Washington -- rowing; Sarah Moe, Gustavus Adolphus College, ice hockey; Jaimeeganleong "Jamie" Soohoo Reynolds, Cornell University -- lacrosse and volleyball; Katie C. Ryan, Boston College -- cross country and indoor and outdoor track and field; and Tanisha E. Silas, University of California, Davis -- indoor and outdoor track and field.

Following are some of the accomplishments of the 10 finalists.

Shannon A. Bowles
University of Utah
Gymnastics

  • Five-time all-American who led Utah to the NCAA championships in 1998, 1999, 2001 and 2002.
  • Named NCAA North Central Region 2002 Gymnast of the Year and Mountain West Conference Student-Athlete of the Year.
  • 2002 NCAA postgraduate scholarship recipient.
  • Received James "Bud" Jack Scholar-Athlete Award as graduating female student-athlete at Utah with the highest grade-point average.
  • Graduated cum laude with majors in psychology and exercise and sports science.
  • Volunteered at Rape Recovery Center and with the Utah Men Against Sexual Violence.
  • Helped raise funds for National Adoption Exchange and also volunteered with children affected by the program.

Ann Marie Brooks
University of Missouri, Columbia
Indoor/outdoor track and field, cross country

  • Four time all-American in track and cross country. Served as captain for both track and cross country teams her senior year.
  • 2001 Big 12 Conference champion in the 5,000-meter run.
  • Led indoor track team to seventh place in NCAA championships in 2001 and led cross country team to third place in Big 12 Conference in 1998, 1999 and 2000.
  • 2001 Verizon At-Large Academic All-American; four-time GTE/Verizon District VII selection.
  • Graduated summa cum laude with degree in plant science and received a Big 12 Conference postgraduate scholarship.
  • Earned life sciences undergraduate research grant and was chosen as a Curator's Scholar and Bright Flight Scholar.
  • Active member of the Missouri Horticultural Club.
  • Volunteered for Boone County Council on Aging and assisted handicapped children and adults in riding horses for therapy.

Morgan Buckner
Ferris State University
Volleyball, indoor/outdoor track and field

  • Volleyball and track and field team captain.
  • Led track team to third-place finish in the conference and 15th overall in Division II indoor championships.
  • Named Ferris State's Most Valuable Athlete for 2002; won Ferris Award for outstanding female student-athlete of 2001-02.
  • Graduated with high distinction with majors in applied speech communication and recreation leadership management.
  • First-team Verizon Academic All-American for track in 2002. All-conference academic pick in volleyball and track.
  • Served as chapter president of Lambda Pi Eta National Communication Honor Society and earned national collegiate communication awards in 2001 and 2002.
  • Is a registered official with the Michigan High School Athletic Association.
  • Served as longtime volunteer at a children's home and as a volunteer guide at a wildlife center.

Alison Connolly
Middlebury College
Lacrosse, soccer

  • Led lacrosse team to Division III national championships in 1999, 2001 and 2002. Team captain for soccer in 1999-00 and lacrosse in 2001-02.
  • All-American as a defender in lacrosse and as a goalkeeper in soccer.
  • NCAA all-tournament team member in lacrosse in 2002. Also named as Inside Lacrosse Defender of the Year.
  • * Graduated summa cum laude in economics.
  • Member of Phi Beta Kappa and winner of Christian A. Johnson Prize in Economics, awarded each year to the Middlebury student graduating with the highest grade-point average in economics.
  • Winner of the Hazeltine-Klevenow Memorial Trophy, awarded each year to the Middlebury student best combining ability in athletics and excellence in scholarship.
  • Earned honorable mention in Ohio State University's national undergraduate essay contest in economics for essay, "Improving Current Policy to Effectively Reduce Overfishing."
  • Organized, planned and coached at soccer youth clinic. Also coached at lacrosse youth clinic and created program curriculum for junior sailing program.

Angela Knopf
Colorado State University
Volleyball

  • Member of the 2002 USA National Volleyball Team.
  • * All-time Colorado State leader in volleyball hitting percentage, service aces, total blocks and block assists.
  • Team captain and two-time first-team all-American. Led team to round-of-16 appearances in 1999, 2000 and 2001 Division I Women's Volleyball Championships.
  • Chosen as most valuable player for women's volleyball in the Mountain West Conference in 2001 and 2000.
  • Academic All-American in 2001 and 2000.
  • Dean's list honoree in mathematics 1998 - 2001.
  • Organized service project at community food bank, read to elementary students every week for a year and volunteered with prison ministry.

Anna Denise Mickelson
University of Washington
Rowing

  • Three-time NCAA champion and member of the United States National Rowing Team's Elite Eight that placed fourth at the World Championships in Switzerland.
  • Led Washington to NCAA titles in 2001 and 1999 and a runner-up finish in 2002.
  • Two-time all-American and two-time all-conference pick who began her career at Washington as a walk-on.
  • Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association National Scholar-Athlete for the West Region.
  • First-team Pacific-10 Conference academic selection in 2002, 2001 and 2000.
  • Served as secretary for Washington Student-Athlete Advisory Council.
  • Student leader for Athletes in Action, teaching sports to children. Also led Athletes in Action bible studies, volunteered with Adopt-a-Family programs and helped the homeless.

Sarah Moe
Gustavus Adolphus College
Ice hockey

  • Division III and Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Year.
  • Team captain and two-time all-American. Led her team to third-place finish in NCAA championship in 2002 and first place in the conference from 1999 to 2002.
  • Graduated magna cum laude in psychology and criminal justice.
  • Member of Phi Beta Kappa and honor societies in psychology and political science.
  • 2002 first-team Verizon Academic All-American.
  • Member of Gustavus Adolphus Student Senate and Student-Athletic Advisory Committee.
  • Assisted juvenile delinquents at community learning center; served as victim advocate for organization assisting victims of sexual assault; and mentored young hockey players as part of the Hockey Buddy program.

Jaimeeganleong "Jaimee" Soohoo Reynolds
Cornell University
Lacrosse, volleyball

  • Four-time all-American in lacrosse and member of the NCAA 2002 all-tournament team.
  • Led Cornell's lacrosse team to winningest four-year period in school history and the program's first two NCAA tournament appearances.
  • * Ended lacrosse career as Cornell's all-time leader in goals, points, ground balls and draw controls.
  • Ended senior volleyball season in the top 10 in the Ivy Group in assists and service aces.
  • Verizon Academic All-American in lacrosse and volleyball.
  • Recipient of the Richie Moran Red Key Leadership Award for outstanding senior athlete (in academics, athletics and ambassadorship) at Cornell.
  • Inducted into Cornell's Quill & Dagger Senior Honor Society. Also a member of Tau Beta Pi National Engineering Society and the Golden Key National Honor Society.
  • Served as teaching assistant for chemical engineering class at Cornell; built houses with Habitat for Humanity; and tutored elementary and college students.

Katie C. Ryan
Boston College
Indoor/outdoor track and field, cross country

  • * Two-time all-American in cross country. Served as captain for cross country and track teams.
  • Led cross country team to fourth-place NCAA finish and first-place conference finish in 2000.
  • Graduated cum laude in information systems and mathematics.
  • 2002 first-team Verizon Academic All-District.
  • Three-time Boston College Outstanding Female Scholar-Athlete. Winner of 2002 Boston College Leadership Award. 2002 Winner of Boston College Eagle of the Year.
  • Member of Pi Mu Epsilon National Mathematics Honor Society and Golden Key National Honor Society.
  • Volunteered with Meals on Wheels; tutored at Boston College Neighborhood Center; and served as pen pal to youngsters as part of student-athlete advisory board project.

Tanisha E. Silas
University of California, Davis
Indoor/outdoor track and field

  • Six-time all-American and three-time conference champion. Captain of track team.
  • Helped lead team to fourth-place finish in Division II in indoor track in 2001 and fifth-place finish in outdoor track in 2000 and 2001.
  • Graduated with highest honors with degree in neurobiology, physiology and behavior.
  • Won UC Davis Division of Biological Sciences Departmental Citation of Academic Excellence in 2002.
  • Completed honors thesis project focusing on macaque monkeys' vocalization and neural processing.
  • Performed with UC Davis Gospel Choir an average of five times per quarter. Recorded a CD with the choir in 2002.
  • Volunteered as intern in pediatrics emergency room and in geriatrics department. Fed, bathed and comforted patients suffering from diabetes, HIV and the after-effects of strokes and heart attacks.
  • Served as instructor for Special Olympics; coordinated volunteers from track team to assist Shriner's Hospital; coordinated volunteers from UC Davis to work at the Davis Stampede Road Race; and served as peer counselor to other student-athletes, giving presentations on topics ranging from time management to eating disorders.

 

State winners selected for 2002 Woman of the Year award

The NCAA News, September 2, 2012

2002 NCAA Woman of the Year logo

The NCAA has chosen 50 Woman of the Year state winners for 2002. Forty-nine states and the District of Columbia were represented. Wyoming was the only state from which there were no nominations.

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 16 different sports, with 27 student-athletes chosen from Division I, 12 from Division II and 11 from Division III.

Each member institution was invited to submit a nominee. For the third year, schools were permitted to nominate two candidates

if one of the candidates was an ethnic minority. Twenty-seven schools did so, down from 28 last year.

This year, 342 student-athletes were nominated, with 175 of those nominations from Division I, 62 from Division II and 105 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 16 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 2002 NCAA Woman of the Year dinner November 2 at the Westin Indianapolis Hotel in Indianapolis.

Last year's national winner was Kimberly A. Black, a swimmer from the University of Georgia.

Woman of the Year State Winners

STATE

NOMINEE

SCHOOL

SPORT

Alabama

Andree Pickens

University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa

Gymnastics

Alaska

Aurore de Maulmont

University of Alaska Anchorage

Skiing

Arizona

Brianna Glenn

University of Arizona

Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field

Arkansas

Mary Hamner

University of Central Arkansas

Tennis

California

Tanisha E. Silas

University of California, Davis

Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field

Colorado

Angela Knopf

Colorado State University

Volleyball

Connecticut

Suzanne Bird

University of Connecticut

Basketball

Delaware

Aimee Alexander

University of Delaware

Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field, Cross Country

District of Columbia

Devin McCalla

George Washington University

Gymnastics

Florida

Michelle Davison

University of Miami (Florida)

Swimming

Georgia

Andrea Pawliczek

Emory University

Soccer, Basketball

Hawaii

Petra Gaspar

Brigham Young University, Hawaii

Tennis

Idaho

Jeanne Orm

Boise State University

Soccer

Illinois

Susan DeNigris

North Central College

Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field

Indiana

Kelly Komara

Purdue University

Basketball

Iowa

Angie Nielsen

Central College (Iowa)

Volleyball

Kansas

Heather Leverington

Emporia State University

Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field

Kentucky

Michelle Cottrell

Northern Kentucky University

Basketball

Louisiana

Britni Sneed

Louisiana State University

Softball

Maine

Tina West

University of Southern Maine

Soccer, Softball

Maryland

Jill Krebs

Western Maryland College

Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field, Cross Country, Swimming

Massachusetts

Katie C. Ryan

Boston College

Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field, Cross Country

Michigan

Morgan Buckner

Ferris State Univeristy

Volleyball, Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field

Minnesota

Sarah Moe

Gustavus Adolphus College

Ice Hockey

Mississippi

Ambrosia Davida Scott

Jackson State University

Softball, Volleyball

Missouri

Ann Marie Brooks

University of Missouri, Columbia

Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field, Cross Country

Montana

Jessica Blake

Montana State University-Bozeman

Basketball

Nebraska

Kelli Brummer

University of Nebraska at Kearney

Volleyball, Outdoor Track and Field

Nevada

Jenni Ashcroft

University of Nevada

Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field

New Hampshire

Julie Ann Sheehan

Colby-Sawyer College

Basketball

New Jersey

Janet Lynne Gallo

Monmouth College

Field Hockey

New Mexico

Courtney Choate

University of New Mexico

Tennis

New York

Jaimeganleong Soohoo Reynolds

Cornell University

Volleyball, Lacrosse

North Carolina

Katie Sabino

North Carolina State University

Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field, Cross Country

North Dakota

Jill Theeler

North Dakota State University

Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field

Ohio

Katherine Dunne

College of Wooster

Field Hockey

Oklahoma

Stacey Dales-Schuman

University of Oklahoma

Basketball

Oregon

Gina Schmidt

Oregon State University

Volleyball

Pennsylvania

Brandy Workinger

Juniata College

Volleyball

Rhode Island

Katie Willett

Providence College

Field Hockey

South Carolina

Mechelle Chanai Lewis

University of South Carolina, Columbia

Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field

South Dakota

Shauna Brockman

South Dakota State University

Volleyball

Tennessee

Diane Slinden

University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Outdoor Track and Field

Texas

Rosalyn Reades

University of North Texas

Basketball

Utah

Shannon A. Bowles

University of Utah

Gymnastics

Vermont

Alison Connolly

Middlebury College

Lacrosse, Soccer

Virginia

Heather Sagan

Liberty University

Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field, Cross Country

Washington

Anna Denise Mickelson

University of Washington

Rowing

West Virginia

Nicole Farrell

Wheeling Jesuit University

Volleyball, Golf

Wisconsin

Allison Erickson

University of Wisconsin, Whitewater

Volleyball

 

2001 NCAA Woman of the Year

 

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

 

2000 NCAA Woman of the Year

 

Georgia swimmer named NCAA Woman of the Year

Kowal ties honor to former winner, teammate

By Kay Hawes, The NCAA News, October 23, 2000

Kristy Kowal 2000 NCAA Woman of theYear

Kristy Kowal, a senior swimmer from the University of Georgia and a silver medalist in the Sydney Olympic Games, was named the 2000 NCAA Woman of the Year at the 10th annual NCAA Woman of the Year awards dinner October 15 in Indianapolis.

Kowal, who was chosen from among 10 finalists selected from more than 300 nominations, was recognized for her commitment to academics, athletics and community service.

"I did not expect this at all," said Kowal, who was noticeably surprised by her selection. "Swimming in front of 18,000 people in a Speedo is much easier than speaking in front of all of you.

"I'd like to thank the NCAA for this incredible honor, and I'd also like to thank the NCAA for its championships. There's nothing like striving to win an NCAA championship with your closest friends, your teammates."

Kowal accepted the honor on behalf of her former teammate, Lisa Ann Coole, who was the NCAA Woman of the Year in 1997. Coole died in a car accident in 1998. Coole's parents, Bill and Nancy Coole, represented their daughter at the dinner.

"Lisa was the captain my freshman year -- the hardest year," Kowal said. "She taught me the meaning of hard work and dedication. What I learned from her is what I like to pass on when I talk to kids.

"Lisa was one of those leaders who led by example. You would strive to be like her. She was just always there for us. She was a strong person with a good heart. She was killed (in a car accident) on her way to adopt a greyhound. Now, what does that tell you about her?"

Robin Roberts, ESPN and ABC sports commentator and anchor, shared the evening's master of ceremonies duties with Giselle Fernandez, a broadcast journalist who has been a regular contributor to CBS and NBC networks over the past decade.

Roberts, who hosts ABC's Wide World of Sports and serves as ESPN's play-by-play commentator for WNBA telecasts as well as frequently hosting ESPN's Sports Center, has emceed the NCAA Woman of the Year dinner since its inception in 1991.

In an evening themed, "A Decade of Excellence, a Future of Success," the NCAA also honored and cele brated the achievements of all 51 state nominees for Woman of the Year, giving special recognition to the 10 finalists.

Forty-four of the state nominees were present, as were nine of the last 10 Woman of the Year honorees. Cheryl L. Levick, athletics director at Santa Clara University and chair of the NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics, paid special tribute to the previous winners, since this was the 10th anniversary of the award.

A 30-minute ESPN broadcast on December 6 at 2 p.m. Eastern time will feature highlights from the awards dinner.

A winner in life

While Kristy Kowal might be best remembered as an Olympic medal winner in Sydney, her athletics success is only part of what makes her a role model for young people.

Kowal's community service -- which has included volunteering with the Safe Kids project, serving food at homeless shelters, collecting food and clothing for needy families and speaking to elementary children about the importance of academics -- was so impressive that the Atlanta Boy Scouts recognized her with the "Peach of an Athlete" award for her service.

Kowal, who majored in early childhood education, would like to become an elementary teacher. She spent time her senior year of high school assisting her former fifth-grade teacher, and that experience inspired her to pursue elementary education.

"I love working with kids," she said. "My mom was a teacher, and I've always thought that being a teacher was a great way to make a difference in kids' lives."

Kowal also spends a great deal of time addressing children in her community-service work.

"I tell them to work hard, have fun and smile a lot," she said. "Work to your highest potential and never give up. Good things come to those who wait."

Kowal has been a Georgia Presidential Scholar and was named to the dean's list numerous times. Last year, she was selected as a Ramsey Scholar, an award bestowed on the top-10 student-athletes at Georgia. Kowal is a GTE/CoSIDA Academic All-American second-team selection and a three-time College Swimming Coaches Association of America academic choice.

"Athletics inspires competitiveness, and I believe that competitiveness carries over into the classroom," Kowal said.

Kowal's athletics excellence includes a silver-medal winning performance in the 200-meter breaststroke in the Sydney Games, where she represented the United States. The winner of eight individual NCAA championships in swimming, Kowal holds one world record and eight American records and is a multiple-event all-American.

Kowal led Georgia to NCAA Division I team championships in 1999 and 2000, and her individual accomplishments include 24 all-American performances. She was chosen as NCAA Swimmer of the Year for 1999 by the CSCAA, and the group picked her again as co-swimmer of the year in 2000, a year in which she also was picked as one of the United States Olympic Committee national female athletes of the month for all amateur sports.

A 13-time Southeastern Conference champion, Kowal became the first woman in conference history to take the conference title in the 100 and 200 breaststrokes four years in a row. Kowal's international success includes a world champion title in the 100 breaststroke, a performance in which she set an American record.

Jack Bauerla, the Georgia swim coach, was pleased to see Kowal honored.

"She deserves what she gets because she works hard for it," he said. "We're very proud for the University of Georgia to have had student-athletes like Kristy and Lisa (Ann Coole)."

Bauerla also noted that Kowal has overcome disappointments (missing qualifying for the 1996 Olympic Games by seven-hundredths of a second and missing qualifying for the 200 breaststroke this year by only .01.)

"With each disappointment, she only came back stronger. We're very proud of her."

And Kowal feels like her persistence has been rewarded.

"In my mind, I've had the perfect year. Three individual championships, the team repeating its national championship, winning an Olympic medal and now winning this award. It's been a dream year."

Only one thing would make it even better -- the presence of Lisa Ann Coole, who had her life ended before she could reach her goal of becoming a veterinarian.

"I would give all of my awards," Kowal said, "just to have her back."

 

Finalists:

Carolin Bouchard, Boston College, Basketball

Bouchard is a two-time all-Big East Conference selection and owns school records for three-point field goals made and attempted in a career. The team captain helped the Eagles to a No. 17 finish in the ESPN/USA Today poll for 2000 and was selected to compete for Canada at the Olympics in Sydney.

Graduating summa cum laude, the accounting major was named Boston College's Outstanding Female Scholar-Athlete four times and became the first student-athlete in school history to earn the university's highest honor, the Edward H. Finnegan Award. The Rhodes Scholar candidate also earned an NCAA postgraduate scholarship.

Bouchard appeared on Big East public service announcements, promoting diversity and tolerance. She also volunteered for the BC Athletics Pen Pal Program, the Higher Education and Assisted Reading program and numerous projects through the BC Women's Basketball Community Service program.

Bouchard: "During my time at Boston College, I learned that goal-setting, effort and teamwork can lead to success not only in basketball but in every aspect of life. Participating in college basketball has given me much more than I could have imagined. I discovered things about myself that I never knew, learned skills that will be with me throughout life, and became a more complete person."

Amanda Colby, Bates College, Volleyball

A middle hitter for the Bates volleyball team, Colby was an all-conference selection in 1999 and 2000, as well as a second-team all-American last year, leading her team to a second-place finish in the New England Small College Athletic Conference.

A biochemistry major, Colby was a second-team GTE/CoSIDA Academic All-American in 2000, and she is a three-time academic all-conference pick as well. Her work has been published in the research journal "Chiralty," and she was selected as a Merck fellow, receiving a grant to conduct independent research and help organize a scientific lecture series.

Colby has served as a mentor for local elementary school children, and she's also participated in numerous "read-ins" at the school. Her volunteer positions have included being a teacher's assistant, tutoring chemistry students and coaching high-school tennis. She's also served as a resident coordinator at her dormitory and as a lab assistant.

Colby: "The ups and downs of my own competitive experience as a collegiate athlete and the feedback I've received from coaches and players has taught me powerful lessons. When preparing to present my senior thesis to a group of faculty, I found myself going through the same motions as I do before an athletics competition. My involvement in athletics has helped me harness my energy, maintain my focus, and hold myself to high standards in many aspects of my life. For this, I will always be grateful."

Jessica Dailey, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Track and field/cross country

A twelve-time all-American in track and cross country, Dailey has served as team captain in both sports. She's a five-time first-team all-Southeastern Conference pick and a five-time second-team selection for the perennial conference winning Razorbacks.

Dailey is a summa cum laude graduate in journalism and a two-time GTE/CoSIDA Academic All-American. She's spent six consecutive semesters on the Fulbright College Honor Roll and Arkansas honor roll, and she's a three-time SEC academic first-team selection. She's also competed in a campus-wide moot court competition.

Dailey's work in the community has included assisting elementary students as a Hispanic Literacy Volunteer; working with the Arkansas Athletes Outreach, a character-building program for schoolchildren; and participating in an initiative with local libraries called "Let's read with the Lady 'Backs." Dailey also has assisted the St. Thomas Aquinas parish with youth activities and served underprivileged children in the Razorbacks for Christmas program.

Dailey: "The discipline I've learned through sports has taught me about balancing the competing demands of daily life. Perhaps someday my achievements and the way I went about reaching them can be the inspiration for a young girl to make the right choices and pursue life with that same balance that has made me a better person."

Jayne Even, North Dakota State University, Basketball

Even was honored as the Division II Women's Basketball Player of the Year and the winner of the Division II Honda Broderick Cup, signifying her as Division II's top female student-athlete. Even was the North Central Conference's scoring leader and player of the year and helped North Dakota State to a national runner-up finish in 2000.

The mass communications major was named to the GTE/CoSIDA College Division Academic All-American second team for 2000, and she also earned an NCAA postgraduate scholarship.

Even was the student-athlete spokesperson for the United Blood Services and also volunteered as a Bison Buddies coach, a Big Sister and helped with sandbagging efforts during the 1997 flood. Even was a reading mentor in the Fargo schools and organized a bike race for the St. Paul's Newman Center.

Even: "A letter addressed to me arrived one afternoon at the Bison Sports Arena. A single mother who regularly attended our games with her son, Jacob, authored the letter. She wrote from her soul and intensely shared the impact I made on Jacob by simply taking time to talk and be with him after our games. I was shocked and humbled by her kind words, and I realized the impression I made. ... Through participation in basketball, volunteer activities and academics, I was able to continually improve and display the principles of leadership, responsibility, teamwork and dedication. By exhibiting these qualities, I became a positive role model for children like Jacob."

Alia Fischer, Washington University (Missouri), Basketball

A three-time Women's Basketball Coaches Association Division III Player of the Year, Fischer helped Washington to three consecutive national titles and a 68-game winning streak. The Honda Broderick Award, given to the division's top female student-athlete, and the Lucy Lopata Award, given to the top female athlete at Washington, are just two of the honors bestowed to the school's all-time leader in scoring, rebounds, blocked shots and field-goal percentage.

Fischer graduated with majors in French and marketing, earning an NCAA postgraduate scholarship. She was honored as the GTE/CoSIDA Academic All-American of the Year for 2000 and was a first-team Academic All-American team three other times during her career.

Besides volunteering for Mentor St. Louis and a community clean-up program called "Into the Streets," Fischer was a member of the school's Thurtene Honorary. The group is composed of the top 13 juniors at the university -- based on leadership, char-
acter and community service -- and the group organizes the largest and oldest student-run carnival in the country.

Fischer: "As a basketball player at Washington University, I experienced numerous team and individual accomplishments; however, the impact of athletics on my life cannot be measured in games won, points scored or records broken. Athletics provided me with a family away from home and relationships and experiences that I will cherish forever. Basketball gave me the opportunity to reach out to others and embrace the vibrancy of the campus, and it taught me the true meaning of balance."

Emily Haley, University of St. Thomas (Minnesota), Track and field/cross country

A team captain in track and cross country, Haley helped lead the Tommies to a first-place finish in the 400 relay in 1997. Haley, who has run on four conference championship relay teams, is a 14-time all-conference top-three finisher. She also participated on the 1997 team that finished second in the NCAA cross country championships, as well as on the 1,600 relay team at the 1998 NCAA championships.

Haley, who has nearly perfect marks, graduated summa cum laude with a degree in history and also is a premedicine major. Haley is a national dean's list honoree, an all-American Scholar and a 2000 GTE/CoSIDA Academic All-District selection.

Haley traveled throughout the world several summers as part of a youth mission with Royal Servants International, including a stint in a Chinese orphanage. She also has volunteered with autistic children, collected books for the Books for Africa project, and even performed at charity fund-raisers as a unicycling clown. She's served as a youth leader on a mission to Mexico, and is active with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Haley: "I am a cancer survivor, and I have learned to make the most of life and to thank God for His many blessings. When I was in the process of cancer treatment, running became both a physical and emotional outlet for me. Following my entrance into remission, my involvement in collegiate athletics enhanced my ability to feel healthy and alive once again. Seeking excellence fosters character, and it is my hope that character is a trait by which I am known."

Anna Hallbergson, Barry University, Tennis

An all-American doubles player in 1998 and an all-conference pick in 1999, this team captain also found success in singles, where she was all-conference both years. A leader on and off the court, Hallbergson was selected as Barry's Most Outstanding Senior in women's tennis this year, when she led Barry to a berth in the NCAA championship.

A summa cum laude graduate in biology and premedicine, Hallbergson earned perfect marks throughout her collegiate career. Hallbergson is the female recipient of the NCAA Walter Byers Postgraduate Scholarship, the Association's highest academic honor, and she has been chosen both the Scholar-Athlete of the Year and the Outstanding Biology Major at Barry for the last two years. A three-time winner of the National Collegiate Natural Sciences Award and a two-time GTE/CoSIDA Academic All-American, Hallbergson also is a published researcher.

She dedicates four hours per week to the Big Brothers/Big Sisters mentor program, and she also is a volunteer tutor and a biology mentor on campus. A Barry University Ambassador, Hallbergson also has volunteered for Habitat for Humanity and the Jackson Memorial Hospital adopt-a-floor program.

Hallbergson: "Having set my goal to become a physician several years ago, I came to Barry not only to perform on the tennis court, but also to excel in the classroom, as a campus leader and as a member of the community. ... As an undergraduate premedical student-athlete, I have developed as a team player, a leader and as an independent critical thinker. My experience from involvement in academic classes, research, campus activities and athletics will serve me not only in medical school but also as a doctor and researcher."

Kristy Kowal, University of Georgia, Swimming and diving

The winner of eight individual NCAA championships in swimming, Kristy Kowal is the holder of one world record and eight American records. A member of the 2000 U.S. Olympic team and a multiple-event all-American, Kowal led the Bulldogs to NCAA team championships in 1999 and 2000. Kowal has been a Southeastern Conference champion 13 times, and last season she became the first woman in conference history to win the 100 and 200 breaststrokes for four consecutive years.

Kowal, who majored in early childhood education, would like to become a teacher. She has been a Georgia Presidential Scholar and named to the dean's list numerous times. Last year, she was selected as a Ramsey Scholar, an award bestowed on the top-10 student-athletes at Georgia. Kowal is a second-team GTE/CoSIDA Academic All-American, and she was picked for the College Swim Coaches Association all-academic team in 1998, 1999 and 2000.

Kowal has received the "Peach of an Athlete" award from the Atlanta Boy Scouts for her community service efforts. She's served as a volunteer with the Safe Kids project -- helping ensure children are safe in their car seats -- and as a speaker at a 1999 Youth Education through Sports clinic. Kowal has served food at homeless shelters, collected food and clothing for needy families and spoken to elementary children about the importance of academics.

Kowal: "Swimming has taught me discipline to balance my swimming career around my academics. I strive to show the same competitiveness in the classroom as I do in the swimming pool because I know that when my swimming career is finished, my education will be priceless. ... One of the most important lessons I have learned through my success in swimming is the value of being a role model. I have worked in swim camps talking to children, and I see in their eyes that they are looking up to me and hanging on every word I speak. I realize the importance of setting an example to them, not only as an athlete but also as a student. In the future, I aspire to be an elementary school teacher. I know my children in the classroom will look up to me as a role model, and it is my duty to teach them that the value of an education never runs out."

Gabrielle Rose, Stanford University, Swimming and diving

A 22-time all-American, Rose is a three-time NCAA champion and team co-captain who helped lead the Cardinal to a 1998 national championship, second-place finishes in 1997 and 1999, and a third-place finish in 2000. Rose -- whose mother is from Brazil and whose father is from the United States-- swam for Brazil in the 1996 Olympics, but she is on the U.S. Olympic team for the Sydney Games.

Rose graduated from Stanford this June with a degree in American Studies, and she is a first-team Pacific-10 Conference academic selection.

Rose has served as a volunteer swim instructor for children, and she's also helped organize the Youth Olympics, an annual event at Stanford. She represented women's swimming on the Cardinal Council, a Stanford forum that discusses student-athlete concerns, and she also has spoken to children at middle schools, high schools and Stanford Swimming Camps about the value of academics and athletics.

Rose: "As co-captain, my vision was for the team to put our whole hearts and minds into training and believe in each other as champions. Though underdogs for the first time in years, we asked the team to commit fully to Stanford's winning tradition and to one another so we could become the closest team of our four-year Stanford swimming experience. ... I leave my collegiate career knowing that all the hard work and sacrifice, personally and as a team, paid off. In that final test, I found the depth of commitment and connection with my team and uncovered something far greater than myself. My vision for the team had become a reality."

Phylesha Whaley, University of Oklahoma, Basketball

Whaley, the 2000 Big 12 Conference Player of the Year, earned a number of athletics accolades in 2000 while helping Oklahoma to the conference championship and an NCAA tournament Sweet-16 finish. The team captain and four-time team most-valuable player is Oklahoma's all-time leading scorer and an all-American, as well as a third-round pick in the Women's National Basketball Association draft, where the forward became a member of the Minnesota Lynx.

A sociology major, she graduated in May and has been honored twice as an all-Big 12 academic team member. Whaley also has been selected four times as a Sooner Scholar and as a member of the Commissioner's Honor Roll.

Whaley has volunteered for Meals on Wheels, Sooner Big Sis, City Sights Tour, Special Olympics and the Children's Miracle Network. For many of those projects, she served as team leader. Whaley also was a member of the Oklahoma Student-Athlete Advisory Board, and she was selected as an OU Athletic Leader, the athletics director's leadership award.

Whaley: "Growing up in the small town of Slaton, Texas, in a single-parent home, I learned early on in life that pursuing a college education was important to me and my family. ... The use of time management became vital as I took an active role in the team's community-service projects. I became a leader and role model for the underclassmen. I learned how to balance all the demands, on and off the court, that a Division I athlete must face. Each was a challenge for me at first. With the help of the coaching staff, my determination and support from my family, I became an educated woman who learned she has something to offer others and who learned the value of giving back to whatever community I belong to. Oklahoma's athletics department's internal slogan is 'Building Champions for Life.' I am real proof that the saying is a reality at OU."

 

State Winners:

  • Alabama: Lexa Wyndham Evans, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Gymnastics
  • Alaska: Leisha Jenkins, University of Alaska Anchorage, Gymnastics
  • Arizona: Carolyn Adel, Arizona State University, Swimming and diving
  • Arkansas: Jessica Dailey, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Indoor and outdoor track and field/cross country
  • California: Gabrielle Rose, Stanford University, Swimming and diving
  • Colorado: Melissa Bouren, Adams State College, Indoor and outdoor track and field/cross country
  • Connecticut: Bethany Hart, University of Connecticut, Indoor and outdoor track and field
  • Delaware: Sarah Edwards, University of Delaware, Lacrosse
  • District of Columbia: Katrina de Boer, Georgetown University, Indoor and outdoor track and field
  • Florida: Anna Hallbergson, Barry University, Tennis
  • Georgia: Kristy Kowal, University of Georgia, Swimming and diving
  • Hawaii: Raylene Howard, University of Hawaii, Manoa, Basketball
  • Idaho: Gloria Butler, Boise State University, Outdoor track and field
  • Illinois: Mary Ellen Hill-Schupbach, Bradley University, Cross country/indoor and outdoor track and field
  • Indiana: Sally Northcroft, Ball State University, Field hockey,
  • Iowa: Shannon Perry-Wieland, University of Northern Iowa, Volleyball
  • Kansas: Dawn Cady-Sullivan, Kansas State University, Volleyball
  • Kentucky: Amanda McCracken, Centre College, Cross country/swimming and diving/indoor track and field
  • Louisiana: Lisette Lee, Louisiana State University, Golf/swimming and diving
  • Maine: Amanda Colby, Bates College, Volleyball,
  • Maryland: Gina Melissa Dean, Salisbury State University, Field hockey
  • Massachusetts: Carolin Bouchard, Boston College, Basketball
  • Michigan:Kacy Davidson, Albion College, Basketball and softball
  • Minnesota: Emily Haley, University of St. Thomas (Minnesota), Cross country/outdoor track and field
  • Mississippi: Courtney Blades, University of Southern Mississippi , Softball
  • Missouri: Alia Fischer, Washington University (Missouri), Basketball
  • Montana: Megan Marie Harrington, University of Montana, Basketball
  • Nebraska: Janet Dutton, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Indoor and outdoor track and field
  • Nevada: Jennifer Collins, University of Nevada, Skiing
  • New Hampshire: Kristin Anderson, Colby-Sawyer College, Volleyball
  • New Jersey: Susan Rea, Princeton University, Basketball/Soccer
  • New Mexico: Kate Dunn, New Mexico State University, Golf
  • New York: Ria Megnin, Hartwick College, Cross country/indoor and outdoor track and field
  • North Carolina: Cecilia Louise Shinn, East Carolina University, Basketball
  • North Dakota: Jayne Even, North Dakota State University, Basketball
  • Ohio: Aleashia Washington, College of Wooster, Basketball/softball/outdoor track and field
  • Oklahoma: Phylesha Whaley, University of Oklahoma, Basketball
  • Oregon: Tarrah Beyster, Oregon State University, Softball
  • Pennsylvania: Irini Hazatones, Millersville University of Pennsylvania, Field hockey
  • Rhode Island: Katherine Saul, Brown University, Rowing
  • South Carolina: Ginger Denison, Furman University, Indoor track and field
  • South Dakota: Tracy Cleveland, Northern State University, Indoor track and field
  • Tennessee: Jennifer Bulkeley, University of the South, Basketball
  • Texas: Jackie Bucher, Abilene Christian University, Basketball
  • Utah: Denise Jones, University of Utah, Gymnastics
  • Vermont: Amanda Peters, Middlebury College, Field hockey
  • Virginia: Casey Taylor, Christopher Newport University, Indoor and outdoor track and field
  • Washington: Heather Wallace, Seattle Pacific University, Cross country/indoor and outdoor track and field
  • West Virginia: Jennifer Zipf, West Virginia Wesleyan College, Volleyball
  • Wisconsin: Rebecca Uphoff, University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point , Swimming and diving
  • Wyoming: Melody Friehauf, University of Wyoming, Volleyball

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