The University of Redlands has nominated recent graduate Alison Smith (McKinleyville, CA) for the prestigious 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year award. She is one of a record 543 female college student-athletes to be nominated by NCAA member schools for this prestigious accolade.
Established in 1991, the NCAA Woman of the Year award honors graduating female college athletes who have completed their eligibility and distinguished themselves in academics, athletics, service, and leadership throughout their collegiate careers.
According to the NCAA's release, the nominees represent all three divisions, with 229 from Division I, 117 from Division II, and 197 from Division III, and include student-athletes from 21 different sports.
Smith's outstanding senior season kicked off with All-America honors as she finished fourth at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships in the 60 Hurdles with a speedy time of 8.73.
She continued to impress throughout the outdoor season, as she crushed the competition at the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Championships while defending her 100 Hurdles title and earning All-Conference nods in the 100 Meters and Javelin. She also hauled in four All-Region recognitions as a stellar competitor among Division III.
Smith entered the NCAA Championships as the fastest woman in NCAA Division III 100 Hurdles with a seed time of 13.86, which now ranks ninth all-time in Division III history. Smith competed in three events in her fourth national appearance and third time at the outdoor stage.
Smith anchored the Bulldogs' 4x100 Relay that included freshman Chyenne Kimble (Big Bear Lake, CA), senior Jasmine Ramos (Santa Fe Springs, CA), and sophomore Kara Romani (Sacramento, CA) as the 14th-ranked team in the country. The quartet ran a 48.09 for an eighth-place and All-America showing. Smith also competed in the Heptathlon as the second-ranked woman in the nation with a score of 4,799 points. She captured ninth place in the seven-event competition out of 22 athletes.
In the 100 Hurdles, Smith fired off the only sub-14-second time of the final by crossing the finish line in 13.98 to win the 2017 NCAA 100 Hurdles Championship for another All-America nod.
Not only is Smith a star in track & field but in the classroom as well, as a three-time SCIAC All-Academic selection and Redlands Scholar-Athlete as well as and a three-time team and individual U.S. Track & Field Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-Academic member. Prior to commencement, she was selected as the 2017 Frank Serrao Female Senior Scholar-Athlete of the Year at Redlands.
The next step in selecting the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year is that each conference will select up to two nominees from its pool of school nominees. Smith is joined by seven other SCIAC hopefuls. The NCAA Woman of the Year selection committee, which is made up of representatives from the NCAA membership, will then choose the top 30 honorees, including 10 from each division.
From the top 30, the selection committee determines the top three honorees from each division and announces the nine finalists in September. The NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics has the final say in deciding 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 will be announced at the annual award ceremony on October 22 in Indianapolis.
To review the full list of nominees and the original release, please click here.