Tonight the NCAA announced the 2016 NCAA Woman of the Year. In the spring schools announced their nominees. That field was then narrowed down to conference nominees, to the Top 30 and a Top 9. The Top 30 honorees, ten from each division, spent the weekend in Indianapolis. At the conclusion of the evening’s ceremony former Massachusetts Institute of Technology swimmer Margaret Guo was named the 2016 NCAA Woman of the Year.
Guo is the fourth ever winner from a Division III institution. In May, Guo graduated from MIT with a degree in electrical engineering and computer science in addition to biological engineering and a perfect GPA.
Five former swimming and diving student-athletes were members of the Top 30: Cal’s Rachael Acker, the University of Miami’s Kara McCormack, Kenyon’s Haley Towsend, Mount Holyoke’s Cathleen Pruden, and Guo.
Read the full press release from the NEWMAC here:
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – On Sunday evening former MIT women’s swimming and diving student-athlete Margaret Guo was selected as the NCAA Woman of the Year. In September, Guo was named a National Finalist along with eight others, three representing each division. Guo is the first NEWMAC representative to earn the distinguished honor as an NCAA Woman of the Year out of the five Finalist in conference history.
Guo is not only the first NEWMAC honoree but she is also just the fourth NCAA Division III student-athlete to be named the NCAA Woman of the Year dating back to the start in 1991. Amongst all winners Guo is the 12th recipient to be a swimming and diving student-athlete.
“We are proud to celebrate Margaret as the first NEWMAC NCAA Woman of the Year recipient as well as the fourth Division III selection in the award’s history. Her accomplishments as a student-athlete in the classroom, in the pool and within the community embodies the tenets of the conference” says NEWMAC Executive Director, Patrick B. Summers.
Joining Guo in Indianapolis for the ceremony was former Mount Holyoke College swimming and diving student-athlete Cathleen Pruden who was also honored for her selection as a Top 30 Honoree. Pruden is one of six Top 30 honorees from the NEWMAC in conference history.
Summers expressed, “Margaret and Cathleen represent the true spirit of Division III and illustrate our institutions’ commitment to academic and athletic excellence. I am continually amazed at our student-athletes accomplishments.”
NEWMAC Assistant Director, Jen Miller McEachern had the honor of attending the NCAA Woman of the Year celebration and expressed her thoughts on the two recent graduates, “This evening was a celebration of incredible female student-athletes who exemplify all that is good about intercollegiate athletics. It was a great night for Margaret and Cathleen and a historical event for the NEWMAC. I was honored to have been able to attend the NCAA Woman of the Year Dinner and humbled by Margaret’s reaction when her name was announced as the winner. Her success as a student-athlete represents the standards of excellence all NEWMAC member institutions strive to achieve.”
Guo graduated from MIT in May with a degree in electrical engineering and computer science in addition to biological engineering and sported a perfect grade point average. As a member of the women’s swimming and diving program, she was a six-time NEWMAC All-Conference honoree in multiple events, a two-time NCAA All-American and three-time NCAA All-America Honorable Mention recipient. Guo also holds three NEWMAC swimming records.
Out of the pool, Guo completed service with Crotched Mountain and was a member of the MIT Society of Women Engineers, Eta Kappa Nu Honor Society, Tau Beta Pi Honor Society, MIT Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers and MIT Association for Computing Machinery. She also helped lead the MIT Career Fair, was an Amgen Scholar, Griffin Lab Researcher and Keel Foundation Research and Innovation Scholar.
Guo was named as the 2016 CoSIDA Academic All-America Athlete of the Year representing the at-large category and is a two-time Academic All-America recipient with honors in 2015 and 2016. She earned the Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar Award, NCAA Elite 90 Award and was a Rhodes finalist and Goldwater Scholar. Guo also holds two patent pending recognitions and is a co-author on two scholarly articles. She was a software intern in HPI Engineering at Intuitive Surgical and earned the Intel Scholarship and GE Women’s Network Scholarship.
The NCAA Woman of the Year program honors the academic achievements, athletics excellence, community service and leadership of graduating female college athletes from all three divisions. To be eligible, nominees must have competed and earned a varsity letter in an NCAA-sponsored sport and must have completed eligibility in her primary sport.
The NEWMAC contributed this report.