HADLEY, Mass. – Recent Amherst College graduate and former two-sport athlete Maeve McNamara '19 has been nominated to represent Amherst in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) selection of the 2019 NCAA Woman of the Year candidate.
The NCAA Woman of the Year Award honors graduating student-athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in the areas of academic achievement, athletics excellence, service, and leadership. The award has been given annually since 1991 and the 2019 NCAA Woman of the Year will be announced on October 20 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
A total of seven women, representing six institutions, have been nominated to represent the NESCAC as its NCAA Woman of the Year nominee. A committee of conference administrators will select the NESCAC's representative for the award, who will move on to national consideration.
McNamara competed on both the women's basketball team and the women's soccer team while carrying a 3.70 GPA as a double major in biology and film and media studies.
Although she won two national championships as a basketball player and four NESCAC titles across both sports, one of McNamara's most rewarding experiences at Amherst came while creating a film for her senior thesis working with four elderly women from a local independent living community. She was inspired through the relationships she forged with the women to extend her studies and pursue a research position at Harvard Medical School where she will join a team to investigate the role of epigenetics in aging.
On the soccer pitch, McNamara started 61 of the 75 games she played and finished her career with 29 points (8 goals, 13 assists). The Mammoths won the NESCAC title in 2016 and advanced to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen in 2018.
On the court, she played in over 100 games as a guard on the women's basketball team, including starting 23 of 28 games as a senior. She helped the Mammoths win two national championships and three NESCAC titles. On November 27, 2018, McNamara set a new Amherst women's basketball single-game record with 12 assists in a win at Emmanuel.
Outside of her athletic achievements, McNamara was a student leader on campus through various admissions and educational policy committees. She was a senator in the Amherst Association of Students, served on three different committees related to admissions, financial aid, educational policy, and athletics. She also served as a committee member for the Amherst Faculty/Staff Sexual Respect Task Force and held roles as a research assistant and a teaching assistant.
McNamara was a six-time NESCAC All-Academic honoree, earning the honor each year she was eligible in both basketball and soccer. She was honored with the Amherst Leads Distinguished Captain Award and the Peter Gooding Award for her efforts in soccer. She also earned the Edward Spugnardi Award, which is presented to the student who, through the qualities of sportsmanship and dedication, has made Amherst a more enjoyable place as a student and an athlete.
Joining McNamara from the NESCAC are the following student-athletes: Sarah Rothmann, Bates (Cross Country, Track & Field), Chandler Solimine, Trinity (Field Hockey), Colleen Doolan, Tufts (Swimming and Diving), Victoria Yu, Wesleyan (Tennis), Olivia Barnhill, Williams (Soccer), and Cordelia Chan, Williams (Golf).
The NESCAC will announce its nominee on June 17th, and the release will be made public on June 24th.
About the NCAA Woman of the Year Program
The NCAA Woman of the Year program honors the academic achievements, athletics excellence, community service and leadership of graduating female college athletes from all three divisions. To be eligible, a nominee must have competed and earned a varsity letter in an NCAA-sponsored sport, must have completed eligibility in her primary sport, and must have earned her undergraduate degree by Summer 2019.
Eligible female student-athletes are nominated by their member school. Each conference office then reviews the nominations from its core member schools (and sponsored sports) and submits its conference nominee(s) to the NCAA. All nominees who compete in a sport that is not sponsored by their school's primary conference, as well as associate conference nominees and independent nominees, will be sent to a separate pool to be considered by a committee. Then, the NCAA Woman of the Year selection committee identifies the Top 30 – 10 from each division – and from there selects three finalists from each division. The Committee on Women's Athletics then selects the winner from the nine finalists.
All 30 Woman of the Year honorees will be recognized, and the 2019 Woman of the Year announced, at an awards dinner at the Westin Indianapolis on Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019.