Recent Bethany Lutheran College (BLC) graduate Megan Sauer was selected as a nominee for the 2017 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Woman of the Year award, announced Tuesday, June 27, by the organization’s office.
A record 543 female collegiate student-athletes were nominated for this year’s Woman of the Year award. The nominees represent all three NCAA divisions, with 229 from Division I, 117 from Division II, and 197 from Division III. The nominees competed in 21 different women’s sports, and 122 were multisport athletes during their time in college.
Sauer was a cross-country and track and field standout at BLC. She graduated magna cum laude (3.87 GPA) in May 2017 with a double major in history and studio art. She is a four-time Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) Academic All-Conference award recipient, and was a finalist for the 2017 UMAC Female Scholar-Athlete Leadership Award. Throughout her four-year career for the Vikings, Sauer set several school records on her way to becoming conference champion or runner-up in those same events. To cap off her career at BLC, she was the 2017 UMAC champion in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.
Sauer was involved in numerous organizations at BLC, including the Scholastic Leadership Society, the campus’ mission-service group Serving Through Outreach, Relief, and Missions (S.T.O.R.M.), the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, and College’s Against Cancer.
Thirty women (ten from each division) will eventually be honored by the NCAA. From those 30 honorees nine (three from each division) Woman of the Year finalists will be selected and announced in September 2017. The NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics then chooses the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year from those nine.
Established in 1991 and now in its 27th year, the NCAA Woman of the Year award honors graduating female college athletes who have exhausted their eligibility and distinguished themselves in academics, athletics, service, and leadership throughout their collegiate careers.