NDSU's Carlson named top 30 honoree for NCAA Woman of the Year
Posted on 8/24/2011
NDSU track and field athlete Whitney Carlson has been selected as a top 30 honoree for the 2011 NCAA Woman of the Year award. Thirty women, 10 from each NCAA membership division, were selected to the top 30.
Carlson is the second NDSU student-athlete, and the second from the state of North Dakota, to earn the top 30 distinction at the Division I level. Laura (Hermanson) Januszewski also garnered the honor in 2009. Prior to the change in the award process in 2007, the Bison also had six student-athletes named state Woman of the Year honorees.
"The culmination of the many academic and athletic accomplishments of Whitney is highlighted by her being named a top 30 recipient for the NCAA Woman of the Year Honors," said Lynn Dorn, women's athletic director. "This tribute is indeed an extraordinary honor. We salute the many exceptional achievements Whitney has earned in the classroom and in competition. Truly, Whitney defines the meaning of a student-athlete. Our pride is immeasurable."
The Buchanan, N.D., native was a five-time All-American who also excelled in the classroom. She graduated with a 4.0 grade point average, and earned CoSIDA Academic All-America first team honors as a junior and senior.
Carlson was awarded an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship and was also received the NCAA Elite 88 Award at the 2011 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, which is awarded to the competitor with the highest grade point average. She was named the 2011 Summit League Women's Scholar-Athlete of the Year, and currently is attending dental school in Nebraska.
Carlson was named Summit League Field Athlete of the Year three times, a 17-time Summit League champion and was a league championship MVP five times. She set six school records over the course of her career.
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, said the award is 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."
The top 30 honorees were nominated by conference 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 announced in an Oct. 16 ceremony in Indianapolis.