UNM's Kelly Williamson, UNLV's Jamie Smith Candidates for NCAA Honor

July 17, 2012

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Former Mountain West student-athletes Kelly Williamson (New Mexico) and Jamie Smith (UNLV) are among the 429 college and university nominees for the 22nd annual NCAA Woman of the Year award, announced today.

The award honors senior student-athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in the areas of academic achievement, athletics excellence, service and leadership. Nominees represent all three divisions.

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 2012 spring season, graduated no later than the end of the summer 2012 term, and achieved a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 2.5.

Williamson, the 2011-12 MW Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year, was a four-year letterwinner for the Lobos' volleyball program, closing out her career with first-team all-Mountain West accolades in 2011. The Buenos Aires, Argentina, native became the Lobos' first two-time CoSIDA Academic All-American, earning first-team honors in 2011 after being named to the third team in 2010. She also received Academic all-MW and MW Scholar-Athlete accolades all four years at New Mexico, maintaining a 3.98 grade point average throughout her academic career. Williamson, who graduated summa cum laude this past May with a degree in conservation biology, was a four-year member of the UNM Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and served one year as a senator in the UNM student government. She was also named a 2012 recipient of an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.

Hailing from Kailua, Hawaii, Smith was a four-year letterwinner for the UNLV women's basketball squad. The 2008-09 MW Freshman of the Year went on to garner all-MW honorable mention as a sophomore and junior before collecting third-team accolades this past season. Smith, who closed out her career as both the UNLV and MW all-time rebounding leader (1,145), is only the second women's basketball student-athlete in league history to reach the 1,000-point/ 1,000-rebound career milestone. A four-year member of the university's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, Smith also served a two-year stint as one of two UNLV representatives on the Mountain West SAAC. A four-time Academic all-MW and MW Scholar-Athlete honoree, she carried a 3.89 grade point average and graduated in May with a degree in criminal justice.

The top 10 honorees in each division will be announced in August, followed by the top three honorees per division in September. The top 10 honorees from Divisions I, II and III will be honored and the 2012 NCAA Woman of the Year winner will be announced at a dinner in Indianapolis on October 14.

To view the complete list of college and university nominees, go to www.ncaa.org.