INDIANAPOLIS --- Whitney Myers, a former swimming student-athlete at the University of Arizona, is the 2007 NCAA Woman of the Year.
Myers received the awardˇ?one of the most prestigious that the NCAA bestowsˇ?at the 17th annual NCAA Woman of the Year Awards last night here?at the Murat Centre Egyptian Room. The award honors female student-athletes who have competed their eligibility and demonstrated academic and athletics excellence, as well as community service and leadership.
The honor is the second for an Arizona student-athlete, adding to that of former track and field star Tanya Hughes in 1994. Myers and Hughes are the only student-athletes from a Pacific-10 Conference school to win the award in its 17-year history.
Myers, an Oxford, Ohio, native, is the second NCAA Woman of the Year from the University of Arizona and the fifth swimming student-athlete to be named NCAA Woman of the Year. Myers represents the Pacific-10 Conference.
A science education major with an emphasis in biology/pre-pharmacy, Myers has been a Deanˇ?s list honoree every semester. Myersˇ? academic prowess earned her first-team academic all-American and first-team Pacific-10 all-academic honors for four consecutive years. Myers twice earned the Mary Roby Academic Achievement Award, was winner of the 2003 Arizona Distinguished Scholar Award and twice earned the Arizona Academic Champions Award.
In addition to excelling in the classroom, Myers was also an exceptional performer in the pool. She was a first-team all-American in seven different swimming events and a top three finisher at the NCAA Division I Swimming and Diving Championships in eight events. Myers holds 14 school records at Arizona and is a two-time NCAA record holder. For her outstanding athletics talents, Myers was named a Honda Award Finalist for two years, the top senior student-athleteat Arizona and the Greater-Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Womenˇ?s Sports Foundation College Sportswoman of the Year. A member of the U.S. Womenˇ?s National Swimming Team for three years (2004, 2005, 2006), Myers finished third at the 2004 Olympic Trials, fourth at the 2005 and 2007 World Championships and qualified for the 2008 Olympic Trials in five events.
Outside of the pool and the classroom, Myers participated in many service and leadership roles. She was team captain, co-president of the student-athlete advisory board, pre-pharmacy club liaison, student-teacher club member, group leader in the sponsorship of a low-income family and founder and director of a local swim clinic. Myers worked closely with local Girl Scouts troops, elementary schools and retirement communities, and represented her university through many speaking engagements. A volunteer at a pharmacy, Myers always found time to visit the childrenˇ?s ward at the University Medical Center.
ˇ?Participation in collegiate swimming has allowed me to continue to build self-esteem while teaching me to believe in my abilities and preparation when the competition is at its most fierce,ˇ± Myers said in her personal statement on her nomination form. ˇ?Iˇ?ve also developed a strong belief in living a healthy lifestyle while exhibiting responsible social behavior outside the athletic arena. Most importantly, Iˇ?ve learned to manage my time wisely while realizing the benefits of goal setting, self-discipline, personal sacrifice, perseverance, and dedication every day ...ˇ±
Last yearˇ?s NCAA Woman of the Year was Anne Bersagel, former cross country and track student-athlete from Wake Forest University. Berasagel graduated with a dual degree in economics and political science. She was the first NCAA Woman of the Year from Wake Forest and the sixth cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field student-athlete to be named NCAA Woman of the Year.
Hughes,?the NCAA Woman of the Year Award in 1994, is joined by a number of other top Arizona female student-athletes involved in the program.?
The University of Arizona has two NCAA Woman of the Year Award finalists include diver Lori Detweiler in 1992 and pole vaulter Andrea Dutoit in 2001. The Association further honors state winners in the competition and UA has had Myers, Hughes, Detweiler and Dutoit win that award, along with softball star Jenny Dalton in 1996, softball's Leah O'Brien in 1997, track star Brianna Glenn in 2002 and runner Nicole Gurnicz in 2004. The award program was begun in 1991.
The University of Arizona's NCAA Woman of the Year History:
UA Winners: Whitney Myers (2007), Tanya Hughes (1994)
UA Finalists: Myers, Hughes, Lori Detweiler (1992), Andrea Dutoit (2001)
State Winners: Myers, Hughes, Detweiler, Dutoit, Jenny Dalton ('96), Leah O'Brien ('97), Brianna Glenn ('02), Nicole Gurnicz ('04)