New Mexico's Courtney Frerichs Selected As Mountain West 2016 NCAA Woman Of The Year Honoree
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Former Mountain West student-athlete Courtney Frerichs (New Mexico) is among 141 NCAA female student-athletes who have been selected as 2016 Woman of the Year honorees by their athletic conferences and by independent schools. The conference honorees represent student-athletes from numerous sports across NCAA Divisions I, II and III, and 54 are Division I student-athletes.
The NCAA established the Woman of the Year Award in 1991 to celebrate the achievements of women in intercollegiate athletics. Now in its 26th year, the award is unique because it recognizes not only the athletic excellence of outstanding young women, but also their academic achievements, community service and leadership. Each 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. 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 2016 spring season, graduated no later than the end of the summer 2016 term, and achieved a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 2.5. This year a record 517 student-athletes, including 231 from Division I, were nominated by their institutions.
The Woman of the Year selection committee chooses the top 10 honorees in each of the three NCAA divisions from this pool to be recognized. These top 30 honorees will be announced in early September. The selection committee will then choose and announce the top nine finalists (three from each division) at the end of September. The NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics will vote from among those nine finalists to determine the 2016 Woman of the Year. The 2016 NCAA Woman of the Year winner will be announced at the annual ceremony in Indianapolis on Sunday, Oct. 16.
Frerichs, a native of Nixa, Missouri, recently completed her collegiate career while attending graduate school at the University of New Mexico. In the fall of her senior season, Frerichs was a member of the Lobos’ national champion cross country team and the top UNM finisher with a time of 19:48. The individual finish was the best in program history and earned her a nomination for the Honda Sport Award for cross country by the Collegiate Women Sports Awards program. She capped the 2015-16 season with a national championship in the 3000 Steeplechase at the 2016 NCAA Finals in Eugene, Oregon and was named Academic All-Mountain West and a Mountain West Scholar-Athlete. Her time in the Steeplechase of 9:24.41 set an NCAA record and gave her four of the top 10 times in NCAA history over her four-year career. She was also named a semi-finalist for The Bowerman Award. Frerichs recently qualified for the United States Olympic Team in the 3000 Steeplechase for the Rio Games in August and has signed a professional contract with the Bowerman Track Club. Over her career, Frerichs has served as a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, a camp counselor from 2013-15 at the Southwest Missouri Running Camp in Neosho, Missouri, a volunteer at New Mexico High School indoor track and field meets, and in the community cooking dinners at Ronald McDonald House and raking leaves for the elderly in neighborhoods around campus. Frerichs holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from UMKC with a 3.94 cumulative grade point average. She is currently working on her master’s in community health education at UNM and carries a 4.16 gpa.