PacWest lone D-II Conference with two finalists amongst Top 30 for NCAA Woman of Year
INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Grand Canyon University’s Samantha Murphy and BYU-Hawaii’s Elwen (Hewenfei) Li Boud are among 30 finalists for the NCAA Woman of the Year Award.
The announcement came from the NCAA on Tuesday, Aug. 23, and featured 30 student-athletes - 10 each from Division I, II and III - in the final group of women for one of the NCAA’s most prestigious honors.
The Top 30 honorees were nominated by conference offices and independent members and represent multiple sports. Three finalists will be chosen from each division to form the nine finalists for the Woman of the Year award.
The national winner will be chosen by the NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics and will be announced in an Oct. 16 ceremony in Indianapolis.
The Pacific West Conference has the unique recognition of being the lone NCAA Division II league with two representatives among the final 30 candidates, and just one of four conferences across the nation to have more than one representative reach this level. The Empire 8 in Division III, and Conference USA and the Big East in Division I are the only other conference offices boasting at least two candidates.
Now in its 21st year, the Woman of the Year Award honors female student-athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in academic achievement, athletics excellence, community service and leadership.
To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must have completed intercollegiate eligibility in her primary sport by the end of the 2011 spring season, graduated no later than the end of the summer 2011 term, and achieved a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.5. Last year’s winner, Justine Schluntz, was an NCAA swimming champion and 2010 Rhodes Scholar from the University of Arizona.
Sharon Beverly, NCAA Woman of the Year selection chair and director of athletics and physical education at Vassar College, described the award as one of the most prestigious honors presented to a female student-athlete each year.
“This award catapults the recipient into the next phase of her life and paves the way for a successful future in any chosen profession,” Beverly said. “When you consider the academic and athletic accomplishments of each of the candidates for this award and the ways they have given back to society, the Woman of the Year honorees are the top echelon of NCAA role models.”