Ellie Crawford, a recent graduate of Kenyon College, has been named one of nine finalists for NCAA Woman of the Year.
She is the lone swimmer to remain in contention after fellow All-Americans Chantal van Landeghem (Georgia) and Caroline Conboy (William Smith) joined her in the top-30. There was initially a record-setting 543 nominees, a list that was whittled down to 145 in August and then 30 earlier this month.
The nine finalists, chosen by the Woman of the Year selection committee, include three women from each of the three NCAA divisions who have demonstrated excellence in academics, athletics, community service and leadership.
In the pool, Crawford qualified for the Division 3 NCAA Championships three times, earning All-American honors on four occasions. She led Kenyon to two runner-up finishes at the national championships, and won the 2017 Stephen E. Bennett Memorial Award, presented annually to the graduating senior who consistently supported the Kenyon swimming team in devotion to training and competition swimming.
Academically she graduated with a 3.96 GPA while studying physics, and earned three College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) Scholar All-America honors. Since graduating she has moved to the University of Michigan where she is on an NCAA postgraduate scholarship.
She also participated in several community organizations during her time at Kenyon, including being a member and leader for BE: Kenyon, a Christian-affiliated organization on campus
In her nomination form, Crawford wrote, “[I had an opportunity] to share my faith with one of my closest friends in her time of adversity, [and it] lit a fire beneath me. How I chose to live my life could indeed inspire others, and often the challenges I overcame meant more to [my friends] than my successes.”
“With newfound confidence and less fear of failure, I took on more risks as an athlete, set lofty goals in my independent research and sought out leadership roles on campus… The lessons I learned as an athlete shaped my time in college and better equipped me to make a positive impact in the world.”
Fellow Kenyon swimmer Ashley Rowatt was named NCAA Woman of the Year back in 2003.
The winner will be announced on October 22nd at a ceremony in Indianapolis. The following eight athletes are the other finalists:
- Sabrina Anderson (Slippery Rock) – Indoor Track
- Jenny Carmichael (Oklahoma) – Discus
- Serena Barr (Liberty) – Field Hockey
- Lizzy Crist (Washington University in St. Louis) – Soccer
- Kaina Martinez (Texas A&M Kingsville) – Track & Field
- Christina Melian (Stony Brook) – Cross Country
- Natalie O’Keefe (Southwest Baptist) – Track & Field
- Jayme Perez (East Texas Baptist) – Softball