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Clarion University’s Day wins NCAA Woman of Year award

Story first appeared on on Oct. 28, 2015 and in the Edinboro University Spectator on Oct. 29, 2015.

The PSAC received nationwide attention earlier this month as Kristin Day, a member of Clarion’s swimming and diving program, won the NCAA Woman of the Year award. Day accepted the award at the 2015 NCAA W.O.T.Y Awards ceremony on Oct. 18 in Indianapolis.

The award program honors the academic and athletic achievements, as well as community service and leadership skills of outgoing female college athletes across all three NCAA divisions. To be eligible, one must have completed eligibility in their sport. The NCAA Woman of the Year selection committee then selects the top 30 female student-athletes, 10 from each division, and eventually whittles it down to three finalists from each division.

Kristin Day beat out eight other finalists to be named the NCAA's 2015 Woman of the Year earlier this month (Contributed/NCAA).
Kristin Day beat out eight other finalists to be named the NCAA’s 2015 Woman of the Year earlier this month (Contributed/NCAA).

The Committee on Women’s Athletics then selects the winner from the nine finalists.

The selection of Day prompted the NCAA faculty representatives from every PSAC school to pen an open letter together. Edinboro’s NCAA faculty representative, Dr. Roy Shinn, submitted it to The Spectator via e-mail.

“We are so proud to be part of an athletic conference with so many academic superstars that we wanted students and employees of all of the PSAC institutions to also be aware of Kristin’s remarkable achievements,” Shinn said in the e-mail.

Day is a three-time NCAA Division II National Champion diver in the pool and in the classroom she accumulated a 4.0 GPA, completing 153 credits and graduating from Clarion in May with a degree in chemistry with a concentration in biochemistry.

Currently, the Reynoldsville, Pennsylvania native is enrolled in medical school at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine on an NCAA Postgraduate scholarship.

“It’s such a humbling experience to be here and among the top 30, who are all so impressive,” the DuBois High School graduate said in a release from the NCAA. “I’ve had so many people help me along the way and I can’t be thankful enough for all of them and for the NCAA for helping me get to this point. It’s just been incredible.”

Day is one of the most successful Golden Eagles in history, regardless of sport, capping off her career with two NCAA championships in 2014.

The Capital One NCAA D-II Academic All-American of the Year was selected over female student-athletes from Swarthmore College, the University of Arizona, Florida State and USC, among other institutions.

“She is the first student-athlete from a Pennsylvania college or university to receive this prestigious national award,” the open letter stated.

Moreover, Clarion is the only PSAC school to have a finalist for the Woman of the Year award, having two prior to Day. Dr. Jamie Wolf (Jackel) in 2007 and Kayla Shull in 2013 were elected.

The NCAA Woman of the Year award adds to the already impressive list of accolades that PSAC student-athletes have garnered, including the NCAA/Walter Byers Scholarship, three Elite 89 Awards, five NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships and 47 Academic All-American honors.


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