Sept. 19, 2003
Former South Carolina All-America golfer Kristy McPherson has been selected as the state winner from South Carolina for the 2003 NCAA Woman of the Year award. This prestigious award honors outstanding female student-athletes who have excelled in academics, athletics and community leadership, and have completed their collegiate athletics eligibility. Winners representing the each of the states and the District of Columbia were just announced.
A national winner – the NCAA Woman of the Year – will be selected by the NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics from among 10 finalists. The 10 finalists will be announced on September 26th with the NCAA Woman of the Year to be announced at the dinner on November 1st.
McPherson, a May 2003 graduate of the University of South Carolina, just completed her first season on the Futures Tour and will compete in the final round for her LPGA card in October.
About 340 student-athletes were nominated for this year’s award by their colleges and universities. A committee comprised of representatives from member schools selected the state winners.
Each NCAA member institution was encouraged to submit a nominee. In fact, schools were allowed to submit the names of two nominees if one was an ethnic minority. The selection committee then reviewed the nominees’ academic and athletics accomplishments, and community service and involvement.
Those chosen as state winners are truly exceptional young women. Of the 50 state finalists, seven competed on national championship teams. Nearly 40 were selected as athletic all-Americans and more than 30 were named academic all-Americans. More than 35 served as their team captains or co-captains. One competed in the Olympics and others competed in the Pan American and World Games. Four were multi-sport athletes. Six received NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships. Twenty-seven represented their fellow student-athletes on their campus Student-Athlete Advisory Committees (SAAC); two served on conference student-athlete committees and one was a member of the national SAAC.
In addition, they found time to help in their communities, volunteering for a wide variety of organizations, including hospitals, soup kitchens and the Special Olympics. They helped adults and children learn to read; volunteered at food, clothing and gift drives; helped raise awareness and funds to fight breast cancer; served on committees planning campus policies; and took mission trips overseas. The state winners had an overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.68, with three posting perfect 4.0 GPAs. They graduated with a variety of majors, including international business, computer system engineering, microbiology, biochemistry, architecture and neuroscience.
The state-level winners include 29 student-athletes from Division I, nine student-athletes from Division II and 12 student-athletes from Division III. These student-athletes participated in 17 of the 20 sports in which women compete for NCAA championships, including basketball, field hockey, skiing, golf, rowing and soccer.
A national winner – the NCAA Woman of the Year – will be selected by the NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics from among 10 finalists. The finalists will be announced in late September.
The national winner will be announced at the 2003 NCAA Woman of the Year dinner Saturday, November 1, at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown. This is the thirteenth year that this award – one of the top honors the NCAA bestows – will be given.
Last year’s national winner was Tanisha Silas, a track and field standout from the University of California, Davis.
Other past winners include: 2001 – Kimberly A. Black, a swimmer from the University of Georgia; 2000 – Kristy Kowal, an Olympic gold medal swimmer from the 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.