HIGH POINT, N.C. – NCAA conferences and independent schools have nominated 145 female student-athletes for the 2017 Woman of the Year Award. Conference Carolinas is represented by University of Mount Olive's Gina Fader and Alexis McNeil.
These 145 women, selected from a record 543 school nominees, represent 16 different sports spanning all three NCAA divisions. Of those recognized, 58 nominees competed in Division I, 34 in Division II, and 53 in Division III.
A native of Levittown, N.Y., Fader helped the Trojans reach the Conference Carolinas championship game while setting new program season records in ground balls (436), draw controls (263) and caused turnovers (239) in 2017. Fader became the all-time leader in ground balls with 151 in her career and set a personal season best of 58.
She started 71 games and appeared in all 73 over her four year career. During Fader's time as a Trojan, the team went 52-22 overall and 27-5 in conference play. With Fader on the team, the Trojans won the 2015 Championship, participated in the 2016 Championship game and claimed the 2017 regular season title.
McNeil, a native of Bowie, Md., set numerous records for the women's indoor and outdoor track and field team. She is a 16-time all-region selection and holds the top spot for seven events in the UMO Track & Field record books. McNeil was also honored with the 2017 Trojan Globe award for Outstanding Female Student-Athlete.
She holds the program's fastest times in the 100m, 200m, 4X100 and 4X400 medley relay events for the outdoor season, and for the indoor season, she sits above the rest in the 60m, 200m and distance medley relay events.
Both student-athletes graduated in May of 2017 with Bachelors of Science degrees in psychology.
In early September, the Woman of the Year selection committee will name the Top 30 honorees, representing the top 10 women in each division. The selection committee will then choose and announce the nine finalists, with three from each division, at the end of September. The NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics will determine the 2017 Woman of the Year from those finalists.
The Top 30 honorees will be celebrated and the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year will be named at the annual banquet Oct. 22 in Indianapolis.
The NCAA Woman of the Year program has recognized graduating female student-athletes for excellence in academics, athletics, community service and leadership since its inception in 1991.
Conference Carolinas is a NCAA Division II athletics conference made up of 11 teams from Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. These institutions consist of: Barton College, Belmont Abbey College, Converse College, Emmanuel College, Erskine College, King University, Lees-McRae College, Limestone College, University of Mount Olive, North Greenville University, and Southern Wesleyan University. Emmanuel College is currently completing the NCAA Membership Process and will be fully competing in league championships in the near future.