USC’s Anika Apostalon has been named the Pac-12 Conference Woman of the Year for the 2016-17 academic year, the Pac-12 announced today. Apostalon becomes the Conference’s candidate for the NCAA Woman of the Year, presented annually to a graduating student-athlete who has distinguished herself throughout her collegiate careers in the areas of academic achievement, athletic excellence, community service, and leadership.
Anika Apostalon (Albuquerque, N.M.) is an accomplished student-athlete in the pool, in the classroom, and in the community. A nine-time All-American, eight-time NCAA individual scorer, and 2016 Olympic Trials semifinalist, Apostalon led her team as co-captain while maintaining a 3.92 grade point average in psychology.
Apostalon contributed to USC’s 2016 NCAA title in the 400-yard freestyle relay, was part of the Trojans’ conference win in the 800-yard freestyle relay that helped the Women of Troy win their first Pac-12 team championship in 2016, and is part of all five of USC’s school record relays.
Apostalon’s academic achievements are numerous: She was an at-large member of the 2017 CoSIDA Academic All-America first team, was the 2017 Pac-12 Women’s Swimming and Diving Scholar Athlete of the Year, was named a Scholar All-American by the 2017 College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association in 2016 and 2017, was a member of the 2017 Pac-12 All-Academic first team, and was a 2017 USC Stevens Scholar in recognition of her high GPA. Apostalon was also awarded the Pac-12 Tom Hansen Conference medal in 2017, given to the most outstanding male and female student-athlete at each Pac-12 institution.
Before transferring to USC, Apostalon swam at San Diego State where she was a two-time Mountain West Conference All-Academic and Scholar-Athlete honoree.
In the community, Apostalon has volunteered with “Swim With Mike”, a non-profit that raises millions of dollars annually for disabled student-athletes. She also joined her teammates to provide weekly swim lessons at Bethune Middle School in the Los Angeles-area, in addition to helping pack thousands of meals that were distributed by the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.
Apostalon is the 12th student-athlete to be named Pac-12 Woman of the Year. Previous winners were: Rachael Acker, CAL (2016); Margo Geer, ARIZ (2015); Chiney Ogwumike, STAN (2014); Brigetta Barrett, ARIZ (2013); Hilary Bach, ASU (2012); Annie Chandler, ARIZ (2011); Justine Schluntz, ARIZ (2010); Lacey Nymeyer, ARIZ (2009); Arianna Lambie, STAN (2008); Whitney Myers, ARIZ (2007); and Kate Richardson, UCLA (2006). Apostalon is the first USC Trojan to earn the honor.
Four student-athletes from the Pac-12 have won the prestigious NCAA Woman of the Year award: Schluntz (2010), Nymeyer (2009), Myers (2007), and Tanya Jones in 1994. All four were student-athletes at the University of Arizona.
Eligible female student-athletes are nominated by their schools, then each conference office reviews the nominations from its members and submits a conference nominee to the NCAA. From that pool, the NCAA Woman of the Year selection committee selects the Top 30 – 10 from each division. From the top 30, the selection committee determines the top three nominees from each division and announces those nine finalists in September. The NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics then chooses the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year from those nine.
The top 30 honorees will be recognized, and the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year winner will be named, at the annual award ceremony on Oct. 22 in Indianapolis.
Press Release courtesy of the Pac 12.