Colorado State's Cranston, Wyoming's Sewell Selected as Conference 2013 Woman of the Year Honorees

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Former Mountain West student-athletes Dana Cranston (Colorado State) and Chaundra Sewell (Wyoming) are among the 146 NCAA female student-athletes who have been selected as 2013 Woman of the Year honorees by their athletics conferences and by independent schools. A total of 455 individuals representing multiple sports across NCAA Divisions I, II and III were originally nominated by their institutions — including 214 Division I athletes. Of the 146 remaining, 58 competed at the Division I level.

Since 1991, the award has honored graduating female student-athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in the areas of academic achievement, athletics excellence, service and leadership. Every year, the NCAA encourages each member college and university to honor its top one or two graduating female student-athletes by submitting their names for consideration for the Woman of the Year award.

Each conference then selects one or two women to represent the conference and submits those names to the NCAA Woman of the Year selection committee, which chooses the top 10 honorees in each division. From among those 30 candidates, the selection committee will determine the top three in each division and announce the top nine finalists in September. The NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics will then vote from among the finalists to determine the 2013 NCAA Woman of the Year.

In order to be eligible for the award, a female student-athlete must have completed intercollegiate eligibility in her primary sport by the end of the 2013 spring season, graduated no later than the end of the summer 2013 term, and achieved a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 2.5.

Cranston, a four-year letterwinner and 2012 team captain for the Rams' volleyball program, helped Colorado State to four Mountain West titles and four NCAA tournament appearances. A two-time All-MW honoree (2011, 2012), she capped off her career by being named the 2012 MW Player of the Year and an AVCA Third-Team All-American. Off the court, the Fort St. John, British Columbia, Canada, native was tabbed a 2012 Second-Team Academic All-American after receiving first-team Academic All-District honors last fall. She also collected second-team Academic All-District accolades in 2010 and 2011. This past year, Cranston was one of 10 finalists for the prestigious Senior CLASS Award, which also recognizes senior student-athletes who excel on the court, in the classroom and community, and have great character. A four-time Academic All-MW and MW Scholar-Athlete honoree, she carried a 3.91 grade point average and was named to the Dean's List three times before graduating in May with a degree in business administration. In addition to competing with the Canadian national volleyball team over the last two summers, Cranston found time to participate in reading programs at local elementary schools and serve as a student leader with Athletes in Action.

Sewell, the 2012-13 MW Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year, excelled for the Cowgirls' basketball program the past four years, including the last two as team captain, while completing undergraduate requirements in physiology and beginning graduate coursework in the University's pharmacy program. A four-year letterwinner, she closed out her playing career with All-America honorable mention and first-team All-Mountain West accolades in 2012-13 after garnering second-team and honorable mention All-MW recognition in 2011-12 and 2010-11, respectively. The Broomfield, Colo., native also earned Academic All-MW and MW Scholar-Athlete honors four straight years and was a finalist for a 2013 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, while collecting first-team Academic All-District and third-team Academic All-America honors this past year. Sewell has been named to the university's Dean's List twice and President's Honor Roll four times, completing her undergraduate studies with a 3.86 cumulative grade point average, and finishing her first year of pharmacy school in 2012-13 with a 3.74 GPA. In addition to completing a four-year stint as a member of the UW Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), Sewell served for two years on the Mountain West SAAC, including this past year as president. She also served an unprecedented two-year term as the student-athlete representative to the University's Athletics Planning Committee. Sewell has contributed her time and energy to a variety of charitable events as well, coaching basketball for the Special Olympics, organizing food drives, and providing service to Habitat for Humanity and Toys for Tots.

The top 30 honorees will be presented, and the 2013 NCAA Woman of the Year winner will be announced, at the annual ceremony in Indianapolis on Oct. 20. To view the complete list of conference and independent honorees, go to NCAA.org.