PHOENIX, Arizona, September 15. THREE aquatic athletes are among the 10 finalists for the 2005 NCAA Woman of the Year Award. The award honors a senior in intercollegiate athletics who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in athletics, academics and community service. Penn State’s Deirdre Dlugonski and Iowa’s Jennifer Skolaski are the swimmers who are finalists and Tennessee’s Lauryn McCalley is a finalist as a diver. The award will be presented on October 29 in Indianapolis.
Dlugonski was a nine-time All-American during her tenure at Penn State and finished her career with seven Big Ten Conference championships, including one in the 200 medley relay as a senior. She also helped the Nittany Lions finish seventh in the 200 and 400 medley relays at the NCAA Championships. Dlugonski posted a GPA of 3.96 and graduated from the College of Health and Human Development.
Skolaski was a four-time NCAA qualifier at the University of Iowa and established school records in six events. She was a two-time MVP for the Hawkeyes. As for McCalley, she earned a Southeastern Conference postgraduate scholarship and was an Academic All-American. The other finalists are Alabama’s Michelle Reeser (gymnastics), Western State College of Colorado’s Alisha Williams (cross country/track & field), Delaware’s Leah Geib (field hockey), Barry University’s Melissa Lehman (volleyball), Nebraska’s Richelle Simpson (gymnastics), Winthrop’s Janiva Willis (softball) and Washington & Lee’s Lindsay Hagerman (tennis).