Sept. 10, 2010
TUCSON, Ariz. – Former University of Arizona swimmer and current Rhodes scholar Justine Schluntz is among the top 30 honorees for the 2010 NCAA Woman of the Year award.
The prestigious award, in its 20th year presented, has been won three times by UA athletes, most recently by fellow swimmers Lacey Nymeyer last year season and Whitney Myers in 2007. Nymeyer’s win in 2009 tied Arizona with Georgia, UC Davis and Tennessee for the most winners of the Woman of the Year.
The NCAA Woman of the Year award honors female student-athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate career in the areas of academic achievement, athletics excellence, community service and leadership.
Schluntz, who begins at Oxford next month, won ESPN The Magazine’s Academic All-American of the Year award, given to the nation’s top scholar-athlete by CoSIDA in July. A five-time NCAA individual national champion and 16-time All-American, Schluntz earned her B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering, graduating summa cum laude with a GPA of 3.94. In her Fluid Dynamics graduate study courses at UA, Schluntz garnered a perfect 4.0 grade point average.
“As a student-athlete at the University of Arizona, I was extremely fortunate to have a great support system of teammates, coaches and other crucial staff members to aid me in all my endeavors,” said Schluntz in a statement after winning CoSIDA’s Academic All-America honor.
“As early as my first semester, it was evident that a high emphasis is placed on academics at Arizona. My studies and athletic accomplishments have complemented each other during my time here and I am grateful for the opportunities that I’ve been given.”
As the Pac-10 Conference’s Woman of the Year and representative for the NCAA WOTY, Schluntz has now made the preliminary cut from 452 nominees down to 30 candidates with ten honorees from each NCAA division. The next cut will narrow down three finalists from each division for nine honorees with the chance to be the 20th NCAA Woman of the Year, announced at a ceremony in Indianapolis on Oct. 17.
Arizona, with Tanya Hughes winning in 1994, along with Myers in 2007 and Nymeyer in 2009, looks to be the first school with four NCAA Woman of the Year winners. It would also mark the first time in the history of the award that three winners were all teammates at one time in their collegiate careers.
Click here for a list of all 19 former winners and a list of this year’s 30 honorees.