4 Swimmers Honored as Top 30 Honorees in 2019 NCAA Woman of the Year Program

The NCAA has announced the Top 30 honorees for the 2019 NCAA Woman of the Year award. The 30 were selected from the opening pool of 585 school nominees and include 10 from each division. The group consists of 10 athletes each from the NCAA’s 3 divisions. Established in 1991, the NCAA Woman of the Year award recognizes graduating female college athletes who have exhausted their eligibility and distinguished themselves in academics, athletics, service and leadership throughout their collegiate careers.

In early October, the selection committee will announce 9 finalists (3 from each division). The top 30 will all be celebrated and the winner will be announced at a ceremony in Indianapolis on October 20th.

13 sports are represented in the Top 30, including for the first time Top 30 finishers from the sports of rifle and equestrian. Among the honorees are 4 swimmers from among 37 swimming nominees; no water polo players advanced from the group of 3 that were nominated. Only track & field and volleyball had more Top 30 honorees with 7 and 6, respectively.

The swimmers chosen for the Top 30 honor include Anelise Diener from the University of Texas, Colleen Doolan from Division III Tufts University, Hannah Orbach-Mandel from Division III Kenyon College, and Franzi Weidner from Hawaii.

Brief Bios on each swimmer:

  • Anelise Diener is a five-time Big 12 Champion, three-time All-American and three-time NCAA Championships qualifier. In 2019 NCAA Championships, the San Antonio, Texas, native placed 19th in the prelims of the 100 freestyle and tied for 26th in the 50 freestyle prelims. She teamed with Claire Adams, Julie Cook and Grace Ariola to place fourth in the 400-freestyle relay at the NCAA Championship. Diener was part of two Big 12 freestyle titles, winning the 200- and 400- freestyle relays. Additionally, the senior finished third in the 100 free and fourth in the 50 free and 200 free. Those performances by Diener helped the Longhorns clinch their 17th Big 12 title. Additionally, Diener is three-time Academic All-Big 12 First Team honoree (Courtesy: University of Texas)
  • A biology and community health major, Colleen Doolan graduated early with summa cum laude honors. She is currently working in clinical research at Boston Children’s Hospital and will enter the Tufts University School of Medicine in the fall. The scholarship will be put towards her Medical Doctor and Master of Public Health tuition at Tufts Medical School. A three-time NCAA qualifier and honorable mention All-American during her career on the Tufts swimming team, Doolan was part of the 800-freestyle relay whose ninth-place finish at the 2019 NCAA Championships was the best relay finish in the Tufts program’s recent history. She also swam with the 400 freestyle relay which had a school-record time of 3:28.22 at NCAA’s. Doolan was 21st individually in the 200 butterfly (2:05.24) at the national championships. (Courtesy: Tufts University)
  • Orbach-Mandel is the fourth Kenyon swimmer to make the Top-30 in the past four years and is the seventh since 2003. Orbach-Mandel is a 25-time All-American and three-time NCAA event champion. In March, she won two of her three national event titles and helped the Ladies to a runner-up team finish at the NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championship. In May, Orbach-Mandel graduated summa cum laude with high honors in economics. She was named Kenyon’s female North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) Scholar-Athlete Award winner and was the recipient of an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. She was a two-time College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Google Cloud Academic All-American, a four-time College Swimming & Diving Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) Scholar All-American and a three-year member of the NCAC Academic Honor Roll. She was a mainstay on Kenyon’s Merit List and inducted into both Phi Beta Kappa, a national honors society, and Pi Mu Epsilon, a mathematics honors society. (Courtesy: Kenyon College)
  • Weidner finished her eligibility in the 2017-2018 season. The German native won 3 straight MPSF conference Swimmer of the Year honors from 2016-2018 and is also a 3-time MPSF All-Academic honoree.

By Sport

  • Indoor/Outdoor Track & Field – 7
  • Volleyball – 6
  • Swimming and Diving – 4
  • Soccer – 3
  • Basketball – 3
  • Cross Country – 2
  • Golf – 2
  • Field Hockey – 2
  • Golf – 2
  • Equestrian – 1
  • Lacrosse – 1
  • Ice Hockey – 1
  • Rifle – 1

Note: some athletes participate in more than one varsity sport

All 2019 Top 30 Honorees

First Last School Divivion Conference Sport(s)
Chelsea Abreu Adelphi University Division II Northeast-10 Conference Lacrosse
Tami Alade Stanford University Division I Pac-12 Conference Volleyball
Norah Barnes Notre Dame College (Ohio) Division II Mountain East Conference Soccer
Virginia Elena Carta Duke University Division I Atlantic Coast Conference Golf
Lauren Bondi Smith College Division III New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference Basketball
Sabrina Degnan Occidental College Division III Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field, Volleyball
Anelise Diener University of Texas at Austin Division I Big 12 Conference Swimming and Diving
Colleen Doolan Tufts University Division III New England Small College Athletic Conference Swimming and Diving
Monica Feeley Vassar College Division III Liberty League Field Hockey
Katelyn Gamble Rogers State University Division II Heartland Conference Softball
Kaitlin Hatch West Chester University of Pennsylvania Division II Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Field Hockey
Sarah Herron Concordia University Irvine Division II Pacific West Conference Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field
Anna Holmquist Wingate University Division II South Atlantic Conference Volleyball
Anna Kamp Calvin University Division III Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Volleyball
Deanna Kuzmanic University of Alabama at Birmingham Division I Conference USA Basketball
Cassandra Laios Case Western Reserve University Division III University Athletic Association Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field
Emma Mandarino University of Georgia Division I Southeastern Conference Equestrian
Marin McCoy Swarthmore College Division III Centennial Conference Soccer
Angela Mercurio University of Nebraska, Lincoln Division I Big Ten Conference Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field
Christine-Evette Ngeve Shaw University Division II Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association Softball, Outdoor Track and Field, Volleyball
Hannah Orbach-Mandel Kenyon College Division III North Coast Athletic Conference Swimming and Diving
Kristina Ortiz Lynn University Division II Sunshine State Conference Golf
Annie Pankowski University of Wisconsin-Madison Division I Western Collegiate Hockey Association Ice Hockey
Annie Rodenfels Centre College Division III Southern Athletic Association Cross Country, Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field
Gillian Schriever University of Pittsburgh Division I Atlantic Coast Conference Cross Country, Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field
Jillian Schulte Cornell College Division III Midwest Conference Volleyball
Ginny Thrasher West Virginia University Division I Independent Rifle
Hailey Tucker Southwestern Oklahoma State University Division II Great American Conference Basketball
Franzi Weidner University of Hawaii, Manoa Division I Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Swimming and Diving
Summer Yousif Bales University of California, San Diego Division II California Collegiate Athletic Association Soccer

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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