Natalie Labonge, a recent graduate of the NC State women’s swimming and diving team, has been nominated for the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year award.
The award is given annually to a graduating female college athlete who has
“My four years at NC State were both challenging and inspiring from start to finish,” Labonge said. “I’m so thankful to have been a part of such an incredible swimming and diving program, and am honored to have been nominated for NCAA Woman of the Year.”
The Greensboro, N.C., native played a pivotal role in the Wolfpack’s historic year. At the ACC Championships, she tied for third in the 50 freestyle, finished eighth in the 100 freestyle and ninth in the 100 butterfly to help lead the team to its first conference title since 1980. She was additionally part of two first-place relays, as she swam on the 200 freestyle and 200 medley relays that not only won gold, but also set conference and school records.
At the NCAA Championships, she earned All-American honors as part of the 200 freestyle and 200 medley relays, which finished fourth and seventh, respectively. Individually, she qualified for the 50 and 100 freestyle. Her success on the national level contributed to the team’s highest NCAA finish ever at seventh.
Labonge is a six-time ACC Champion, 11-time All-American, holds two conference records, two ACC meet records and three school records. During her time at NC State, she was named to the All-ACC Team four consecutive years and led the team as co-captain during her junior and senior seniors. She also participated in the 2016 Olympic Trials, where she was a semifinalist in the 100 butterfly.
The sprint specialist also excelled in the classroom, earning four All-ACC Academic Team honors and two CSCAA Scholar All-American honors. She was additionally awarded the Weaver-James-Corrigan postgraduate scholarship by the ACC.
On top of her excellent athletic and academic resume, Labonge was heavily involved in the community with programs such asVoluntarios Ahora en Raleigh and Habitat for Humanity, as well as leading swim clinics for children.
Labonge graduated Magna Cum Laude in May with a double major in Communication and Foreign Languages & Literature and is currently working as a Marketing Assistant at Chemtek, Inc. in Morrisville, N.C.
Press release courtesy of NC State Athletics.