UMass' MacLean One Of Top 30 Honorees For NCAA Woman Of The Year
AMHERST, Mass. – University of Massachusetts women's cross country and track and field alumna Heather MacLean has been named one of the Top 30 honorees for the 2018 NCAA Woman of the Year Award, the award's selection committee announced on Thursday. The Peabody, Massachusetts native was selected from a record pool of 581 school nominees, which was then narrowed to 154 nominees by conference offices. MacLean is one of 10 honorees from Division I institutions, as the Top 30 honorees include 10 from each of the three NCAA divisions.
"We are so pleased that Heather is being recognized by the NCAA as a Woman of the Year Top 30 honoree," said University of Massachusetts Director of Athletics Ryan Bamford. "Her career at this renowned university — in the classroom, in competition, and in the community — has been absolutely remarkable. She is truly deserving of this special recognition that celebrates the best female student-athletes in the country across all divisions."
One of the most prestigious NCAA awards, the NCAA established the Woman of the Year Award in 1991 to celebrate the achievements of women in intercollegiate athletics. Now in its 28th 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.
"I am honored to represent Massachusetts on the NCAA level and I am incredibly thankful to all the constituents at the university that played a part in shaping the woman I am today," said MacLean.
A three-time All-American (mile 2016, cross country 2017, outdoor 800m 2018), MacLean was also a four-time NCAA Outdoor East Preliminary qualifier in her career, which spanned five seasons with the Minutewomen. She was an eight-time New England champion (six individual tiles, two relays) and 10-time Atlantic 10 champion (800m, 1,500m, two relays) on the track, to go along with two Atlantic 10 Cross Country individual titles (2016, 2017). She won the 2017 New England Cross Country championships, as well.
MacLean was a two-time Atlantic 10 Most Outstanding Cross Country Performer (2016, 2017), the 2014 Atlantic 10 Most Outstanding Outdoor Rookie Performer, the 2016 Atlantic 10 Indoor Most Outstanding Track Performer and the 2018 Atlantic 10 Outdoor Most Outstanding Track Performer. She was a three-time All-Atlantic 10 honoree in cross country and finished her UMass career holding seven individual school records and a share of four relay records, three New England records and two A-10 records.
For her work in the classroom, MacLean was a six-time A-10 Academic All-Conference honoree (cross country 2015, 2016, 2017; indoor track and field 2016; outdoor track and field 2017, 2018) and was among 10 graduating seniors honored for exemplary achievement, initiative and leadership as 21st Century Leaders during UMass' Undergraduate Commencement in 2017.
From the top 30, the selection committee will announce the nine finalists—consisting of three women from each NCAA division—in early October. From those finalists, the NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics will select the 2018 NCAA Woman of the Year. The Top 30 will be celebrated and the Woman of the Year will be named Oct. 28 at a ceremony in Indianapolis.