College of St. Scholastica graduate Casey Hovland is among a program-high 581 nominees for the 2018 NCAA Woman of the Year award.
Hovland is one of 199 nominees from NCAA Division III and six from the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC). The NCAA Woman of the Year Award honors graduating female student-athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in the areas of academic achievement, athletics excellence, service and leadership.
Hovland competed in cross country, indoor track & field and outdoor track & field the last four years at St. Scholastica. In those four years, Hovland was a 10-time All-Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) selection between the three sports, earned All-Region accolades nine times and received All-America laurels for her performance at the 2016 NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships.
She became the first St. Scholastica athlete to compete in three different NCAA Championship events in the same year in 2017-18, taking part in the Cross Country Championships, Indoor Track & Field Championships and Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Hovland became the first St. Scholastica runner to win the UMAC Cross Country Meet three consecutive years (2015, 2016, 2017) and was named the Track Athlete of the Meet at the 2018 UMAC Indoor Track & Field Championships.
She finished her undergrad degree in Biology with a perfect 4.0 grade-point-average. She also received the NCAA Elite 90 Award at the 2017 NCAA Cross Country Championships, which is handed out to a senior student-athlete with the highest cumulative GPA competing at the championships. In June, she was named a First Team Google Cloud Academic All-American by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) after receiving third team honors the previous year.
When Hovland was not excelling in competition or in the classroom, she spent time volunteering on the college’s annual Community Day, helping distribute meals, work on trails and cleaning up parks. She also was a MEDLIFE Volunteer where she went to Lima, Peru in 2016 to help areas of extreme poverty receive medical care. She also spent time volunteering as gymnastics and softball coach.
The NCAA encourages member schools to honor its top graduating female student-athletes each year by submitting their names for consideration for the Woman of the Year award.
Then, conferences assess each nominee’s eligibility and select up to two conference nominees. All conference nominees are forwarded to the Woman of the Year selection committee, which chooses the top 30 honorees – 10 from each division.
From the top 30, the selection committee determines the top three nominees from each division and announces the top nine finalists in September. The NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics then chooses from among those nine to determine the 2018 NCAA Woman of the Year.
The 2018 NCAA Woman of the Year winner will be announced, and the Top 30 honorees celebrated, at the annual award ceremony October 28 in Indianapolis.