Three Swimmers or Divers Make Top 30 NCAA Woman of the Year Honorees

Three swimmers or divers made it to the top 30 semi-finalists of the 2021 NCAA Woman of the Year nominees.

Mikayla Bisignani of Johns Hopkins University and Lindsey Ruderman of Amherst College are Division III nominees while Abigail Knapton of the University of Nebraska, Lincoln represents Division I.

They were among 9 swimmers and divers who were nominated for the award in August.

2021 NCAA qualifier Bisignani was named 2021 CoSIDA At-Large Academic All-American of the Year for her success in the classroom and in the pool. She also competed at the National Track and Fied Championships in 2019.

Ruderman has been a dominant force on the diving board after she qualified for the NCAA Regional Diving Championships and won 1-meter in 2020 to secure her spot at the DIII NCAA Championships that year. She won both 1-meter and 3-meter at 2019 DIII NCAA’s, earning herself the NCAA Diver of the Meet award.

6-time All-American diver Knapton, who is using her 5th year of eligibility at Rutgers, finished 8th on platform and 3-meter springboard at the 2020 NCAA Championships.

This award “recognizes graduating female college athletes who have exhausted their NCAA eligibility and distinguished themselves in academics, athletics, service and leadership throughout their collegiate careers,” according to the NCAA.

The top 30 semifinalists consist of 10 athletes from each NCAA division. They were selected from a pool of 535 school nominees which was narrowed down to 30 by a committee of representatives from the NCAA membership.

Next, the NCAA will determine the top 3 honorees from each division. The 2021 NCAA Woman of the Year will be chosen from the group of those 9 finalists and announced on November 9th.

The 2020 NCAA woman of the year was Kentucky’s Asia Seidt, the 13th swimmer in history to win the award since its inauguration in 1991.

Honorees by Sport

  • Track & Field, Cross Country – 12
  • Volleyball – 3
  • Basketball – 3
  • Swimming & Diving – 3
  • Field Hockey – 2
  • Softball – 2
  • Soccer – 2
  • Lacrosse – 2
  • Fencing – 1
  • Triathlon – 1

Note: because one athlete, Mikayla Bisignani, did more than one sport, the total adds up to more than 30.

Aquatic Semifinalists

Nominee School Division Conference Sports
Mikayla Bisignani Johns Hopkins University III Independent Swimming and diving, outdoor track and field
Abigail Knapton University of Nebraska, Lincoln I Big Ten Swimming and diving
Lindsey Ruderman Amherst College III New England Small College Athletic Conference Swimming and diving

All 30 Semi-finalists

Nominee School Division Conference Sports
Bria Beale University of Hawaii at Hilo II Pacific West Volleyball
Mikayla Bisignani Johns Hopkins University III Independent Swimming and diving, outdoor track and field
Kailyn Brandt Wahington College (Maryland) III Centennial Field hockey
Anna Cockrell USC I Pac-12 Indoor track and field, outdoor track and field
Kendall Cornick Augustana University (South Dakota) II Northern Sun Intercollegiate Softball
Chelsie DePonte Stony Brook University I America East Soccer
Stefanie Deschner University of Notre Dame I Atlantic Coast Fencing
Favor Ezewuzie Wheaton College (Illinois) III College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin Indoor track and field, outdoor track and field
Emma Griffith University of Chicago III University Athletic Association Volleyball
Shelby Gunnells North Dakota State I The Summit League Indoor track and field, outdoor track and field
Carley Hale Southern Arkansas University II Great American Cross country, outdoor track and field
Naomi Hill North Central College III Independent Triathlon
Julia Ingram University of Tampa II Sunshine State Basketball
Alison Johnson Adelphi University II Northeast-10 Lacrosse
Eka Jose Washington University in St. Louis III University Athletic Association Indoor track and field, outdoor track and field
Valda Kabia West Texas A&M II Lone Star Indoor track and field, outdoor track and field
Abigail Knapton University of Nebraska, Lincoln I Big Ten Swimming and diving
Kaelyn Long Bucknell University I Patriot Field hockey
Jessica Lopez Haverford College III Centennial indoor track and field, outdoor track and field
Taylor Malasek University of North Georgia II Peach Belt Soccer
Bria Matthews Georgia Institute of Technoloy I Atlantic Coast indoor track and field, outdoor track and field
Mekayla Montgomery Hobart and William Smith Colleges III Liberty Lacrosse
Nazirah Purnell Lincoln University (Pennsylvania) II Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association Cross country, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field
Lindsey Ruderman Amherst College III New England Small College Athletic Conference Swimming and diving
Avery Skinner University of Kentucky I Southeastern Volleyball
Jenna Taylor Simpson College III American Rivers Basketball
Sami Williams Iowa State University I Big 12 Softball
Ashton Woods Southern Methodist University I American Athletic indoor track and field, outdoor track and field
Jami Wright Southern Wesleyan University II Conference Carolinas indoor track and field, outdoor track and field
Irisa Ye University of the Sciences II Central Atlantic Collegiate Basketball

 

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