2003 NCAA Woman of the Year Finalists Announced
Sept. 26, 2003
The NCAA announced today the 10 finalists for the 2003 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 of 3.82 on a 4.000 scale, graduated or will graduate with degrees in majors such as neuroscience, finance, molecular biology, civil engineering and physical education.
The 10 finalists for the 2003 NCAA Woman of the Year award include two NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship recipients, and eight of the 10 finalists are or were involved with 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 polices that affect student-athletes' lives on NCAA member institution campuses and it is the "student voice" in the NCAA's governance structure.
They are volunteers who worked with Special Olympics, collected food and supplies for a sexual assault and domestic violence center, participated in mission trips to Mexico, tutored children with special needs and more.
Of the finalists, five are from Division I member institutions, two from Division II and three from Division III. They competed in a variety of sports, including gymnastics, fencing, softball, volleyball, basketball, rowing, tennis and indoor and outdoor track and field, representing schools in Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee and Virginia.
The 10 finalists for 2003 are:
- Elia Burrill, Colorado, United States Air Force Academy, fencing. Hometown: Truckee, California.
- Kristin B. Sterner, Alabama, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, gymnastics. Hometown: Ionia, Michigan.
- Susan Churchwell, California, University of California, Davis, softball. Hometown: Lake Forest, California.
- Victoria Courmes, Florida, Barry University, tennis. Hometown: Bastia, France.
- Melissa D. Jones, Illinois, Monmouth College (Illinois), volleyball, basketball, indoor and outdoor track and field. Hometown: Port Byron, Illinois.
- Tiffany Kyser, Indiana, Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis, basketball. Hometown: Indianapolis.
- Joanna Hingle, North Carolina, Duke University, rowing. Hometown: Alexandria, Virginia.
- Ashley Jo Rowatt, Ohio, Kenyon College, swimming and diving. Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky.
- Kara Lawson, Tennessee, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, basketball. Hometown: Alexandria, Virginia.
- Erika Paige Proko, Virginia, Washington and Lee University, tennis. Hometown: Charlotte, North Carolina.
This is the 13th year that the Woman of the Year Award has been given.
The finalists were selected by a committee comprised of athletics administrators from NCAA member colleges and universities from more than 340 entries. The NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics will select the 2003 NCAA Woman of the Year from among the 10 finalists. The national winner will be announced at an awards dinner November 1 at the Indianapolis Downtown Marriott in Indianapolis.