After being nominated by the University of Redlands, graduate student Reyna Ta'amu (Lakewood, CA) received the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference's (SCIAC) endorsement as one of two representatives to move onto national consideration for the 2019 NCAA Woman of the Year. She and Occidental College's Sabrina Degnan were voted forward by the athletic administrators from the pool of eight nominees in the conference. Overall, 585 female college student-athletes from all NCAA divisions, including 192 from Division III, were nominated by their respective institutions.
Ta'amu wrapped up a stellar two-sport career at Redlands while thriving in basketball and track & field. Most recently, she won the national title in the Shot Put at the 2019 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships for an amazing accomplishment in just her third season in that sport. Earlier this spring, she was named the Frank Serrao Senior Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year. A three-time All-SCIAC selection in basketball, she finished her tenure with 1,085 points and 584 rebounds. She became an All-American in indoor and outdoor track & field while also being named the West Region Women's Field Athlete of the Year. She repeated as an All-Region selection on three occasions. Her first competition in indoor shot put yielded the seventh-best mark all-time in Division III at 50' 11". In addition, she owns the 12th-best outdoor mark of 49' 8 ½", which also reset the school, stadium, and conference records at the time.
"While growing and stepping into being a leader for my team, I also began to pursue various leadership roles within my different organizations. By the time I was a senior, I was well known on campus as being a top athlete as well as a super-involved student," Ta'amu commented.
Outside of athletics, Ta'amu provided leadership through her involvement with Alpha Chi Delta, Alpha Phi Omega, Hawai'i Club, Jasper's Corner, and SPURS. Upon graduation, she received the ASUR President's Award, which recognizes an individual who had a significant impact within the Redlands campus community.
After completing her bachelor's degree, Ta'amu attended the School of Business for her Master of Business Administration.
"My goal is to pave a way for the next generation and to show others in my community that we aren't limited to succeeding solely as athletes, but as scholars as well."
From the school nominees, each conference selected up to two nominees, with the SCIAC choosing Ta'amu and Degnan. From this group, the top 30 will be determined by a committee of athletics personnel. The top 30 will be celebrated at the annual awards ceremony on October 20 in Indianapolis, where the NCAA Woman of the Year will be announced.
For a complete list of the 585 school nominees, please visit www.ncaa.org.