INDIANAPOLIS, IND – Seven Peach Belt Conference female student-athletes have been nominated for the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year award. The seven are among the 117 Division II athletes and record 543 across all three NCAA divisions to be nominated for the award.
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.
North Georgia women's golfer Taylor Allen graduated in the Spring of 2017 with a perfect 4.00 GPA in Management as she as only the second Peach Belt Conference student-athlete to win the league's Elite 15 Award three times. From Lawrenceville, Ga., she was named PBC All-Academic, Presidential Honor Roll Gold Scholar and a WGCA All-American Scholar in each of her four years on campus. Allen played in ten of 11 events for North Georgia with 21 competitive rounds. She finished in a tie for 18th at the Columbus State Lady Cougar Classic and shot a season-low round of 74 to open the Armstrong Pirate Women's Invitational.
Georgia College softball player Faith Flanders posted a 3.59 GPA in Exercise Science while powering the Bobcat offense for the last four years. A two-time All-Southeast Region selection at first base, she also made a pair of appearances on All-PBC teams in her career. As a senior, she added her top academic honor, being chosen to the CoSIDA Academic All-District Team. She finished with over 200 hits in her career, was third in school history in RBIs, sixth in home runs and ninth in batting average.
Clayton State's Maria Marti Bartis concluded her playing career third in career goals (37) and points (92) and became the first soccer player in school history, men's or women's, to score double-digit goals in three straight seasons. The 2016 PBC Player of the Year, she was a three-time All-Region selection and an All-American. She was also named a two-time CoSIA Academic All-American.
Young Harris softball standout Jeanie Perrucci, a senior outfielder/pitcher from Duluth, Georgia, led the Mountain Lions to a program best (NCAA era) 43 wins to date. The three-time All-Peach Belt performer finished the season ranked 25th in NCAA Division II in runs per game (1.05). She was ranked second in the PBC in runs scored (59) and games started (28), fourth in hits (71), in triples (4) and pitching appearances (34), fifth in ERA (2.24), sixth in wins (17) and in strikeouts (130), and 10th in innings pitched (146.2). Perrucci, who graduated from Young Harris in May with a 3.95 cumulative grade point average as an interdisciplinary studies major, was twice named to the prestigious CoSIDA Academic All-America Division II Softball team.
Montevallo's Cheyenne Thompson capped off her career recently by being named a CoSIDA Academic All-American selection for the third consecutive year, earning the award in every season she was eligible for the honor. The 2017 PBC female Scholar-Athlete of the Year, she won the 2016 PBC cross country championship and was a two-event winner at the PBC track & field championships. A native of Chelsea, Alabama, she completed her undergraduate degree in Biochemistry with a perfect 4.00 cumulative grade-point average, was also named a CoSIDA Academic All-District selection for the third year in a row.
UNC Pembroke women's soccer player Amber Watkins finished her career with 65 games played for the Black & Gold. She scored 17 goals with 15 assists during that time and was named to the PBC All-Academic team three times and the PBC Presidential Honor Roll four times, including as a Gold Scholar in 2017. From Kannapolis, N.C., she was an All-Region and All-Conference selection and graduated with a degree in biology.
Georgia College's Macy Polk finished with a 3.88 GPA in chemistry with a minor in biology. Polk was also a stalwart at the top of the lineup for Bobcat Tennis all four seasons, totaling 155 career victories, including 70 in singles action. Polk was a four-time ITA Scholar-Athlete, and a three-time PBC All-Academic Team selection. She was twice named All-PBC Second Team in singles.
The top 30 nominees, 10 from each division, will be announced in August and nine finalists will be chosen in September. The 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year will be announced at the annual award ceremony Oct. 22 in Indianapolis.
PBC NCAA Woman of the Year Nominees
|Taylor Allen||North Georgia||Women's Golf|
|Faith Flanders||Georgia College||Softball|
|Maria Marti Bartis||Clayton State||Women's Soccer|
|Jeanie Perrucci||Young Harris||Softball|
|Macy Polk||Georgia College||Women's Tennis|
|Cheyenne Thompson||Montevallo||Women's Cross Country/Track & Field|
|Amber Watkins||UNC Pembroke||Women's Soccer|