University of Mary Washington senior swimmer Nina Michelle Sawyer (Warrenton, Va./Liberty) was selected by the Capital Athletic Conference Directors of Athletics as the CAC's 2010 NCAA Woman of the Year program candidate.
Sawyer is one of more than 400 nominees from all three NCAA Divisions of colleges and universities for the 20th annual NCAA Woman of the Year award, which honors senior student-athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in the areas of academic achievement, athletics excellence, service and leadership.
To be eligible for the award, female student-athletes must have completed intercollegiate eligibility in her primary sport by the end of the 2009 spring season, graduated no later than the end of the 2010 summer term and achieved a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 2.50.
Four national finalists have represented the CAC in the NCAA Woman of the Year competition since 1996, including Goucher's Michele Mohylman (1996), Mary Washington's Melissa Block (2003), Goucher's Stephanie LaGue (2005) and Salisbury's Sue Ackermann (2008).
Sawyer graduated the University of Mary Washington in May with a psychology degree. She achieved a 3.30 cumulative grade point average and was named to the Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) Division III All- Academic team twice during her career. In 2010, Sawyer achieved Psi Chi recognition, which is the highest honor in the UMW psychology major for best research of the year.
In the pool, Sawyer is the UMW record holder in the 200 individual medley and earned All-America honors five times. She earned eight All-America awards during her career, the third-highest total in team history.
Sawyer is the only swimmer who currently is a member of every Eagles' school record-setting relay teams. Her seven All-CAC awards at the 2010 conference championship meet raise her career total to 27 All-CAC awards, including nine conference championships and 18 silver medal finishes. She was also the 2007 CAC Rookie of the Year and team captain as a senior.
Among her numerous service and leadership activites were volunteering to help children with autism, an internship with a church youth group, contributing to Fellowship of Christian Athletes. She also served coffee to the homeless on Martin Luther King Serves Day, volunteered for a fundraiser for world hunger, donated time to assist in a homeless shelter and contributed as a volunteer youth swim coach.
An NCAA committee will select a group of 10 semifinalists from each of the three Divisions will be announced in August, and the three finalists from each division will be announced in September. The national winner, selected from the nine divisional finalists, will be announced at Woman of the Year Awards Dinner in Indianapolis on October 17, 2010.
CAPITAL ATHLETIC CONFERENCE NCAA WOMAN OF THE YEAR CANDIDATE
Year NCAA Woman of the Year candidate
1996 Michele Mohlman-GOU (FH/basketball/lacrosse) national finalist & Md. state winner
2003 Melissa Block-UMW (lacrosse) (national finalist & Va. state winner
2005 Stephanie LaGue-GOU (swimming) national finalist & Md. state winner
2008 Sue Ackermann-SAL (lacrosse) CAC nominee - national finalist
2009 Brie McDowell-SMC (swimming) CAC nominee
2010 Nina Michelle Sawyer-UMW (swimming) CAC nominee