INDIANAPOLIS – Gallaudet University senior Hannah Neild (Litchfield, N.H.) continued her candidacy for the 2019 NCAA Woman of the Year award Monday when the record field of 585 nominees, most in the 29-year history of the program, was narrowed to 148 conference-level honorees. Neild was selected as the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) nominee and becomes Gallaudet's second student-athlete to receive this distinction joining Elena Ciccarelli (2015).
Established in 1991, the NCAA Woman of the Year award recognizes graduating female college athletes who have exhausted their eligibility and distinguished themselves in academics, athletics, service and leadership throughout their collegiate careers.
The 148 conference nominees contains 51 from Division III, 33 from Division II and 64 from Division I. Of the 148 nominees, 45 honorees participated in multiple sports, including Neild. The average GPA amongst the conference award honorees is 3.80.
Neild is a three-sport student-athlete at Gallaudet, the world's only university with programs and services specifically designed to accommodate deaf and hard of hearing students. She participated on three different sports (women's soccer, women's basketball, softball) during the 2018-19 school year. Neild is one of the most decorated multisport student-athletes in GU history. The Litchfield, N.H., native was named Gallaudet's Student-Athlete of the Year for a second straight time this past May and was the top scholar-athlete award honoree for the 2018-19 graduating class. The education major, who holds a 3.98 grade point average and is a member of the University Honors program, earned Google Cloud Academic All-America® honors in two different sports (women's basketball, softball) in the same year and became GU's first Team Member of the Year recipient (women's basketball).
On the basketball court, Neild finished third in Division III in points scored (649) and points per game (25.0) and earned NEAC Player of the Year honors this season. for the Bison and is a two-time first team All-NEAC pick. The hard of hearing 5-foot-9 guard/forward is a two-time All-NEAC first team selection and was one of 10 finalists for the 2019 Jostens Trophy. On the softball diamond, Neild finished 12th in Division III for triples per game and 28th in batting average (.474) and landed on the All-NEAC second team, her second all-conference honor in two seasons. Neild played in 15 soccer games (14 starts) at midfield and scored seven goals, five assists and 19 points (third on the team) during the 2018 season.
All conference nominees are forwarded to the NCAA Woman of the Year selection committee, which chooses the top 30 honorees – 10 from each division – and will release those names in early September.
The selection committee will determine the top three honorees in each division from the Top 30 and announce the nine finalists in late September. From those nine finalists, the NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics then will choose the 2019 NCAA Woman of the Year.
The Top 30 honorees will be celebrated and the 2019 NCAA Woman of the Year will be named at the annual award ceremony Oct. 20 in Indianapolis.
The NCAA encourages member schools to honor their top graduating female student-athletes each year by submitting their names for consideration for the Woman of the Year award.
Neild was nominated for the NCAA Woman of the Year by Associate Athletic Director for Communications Sam Atkinson
2019 NCAA Woman of the Year Timeline
June 26 – School Nominees released
August 6 – Conference honorees announced
Early September – Top 30 announced
Late September – Nine finalists announced
Oct. 20 – 2019 NCAA Woman of the Year announced
Gallaudet University, federally chartered in 1864, is a bilingual, diverse, multicultural institution of higher education that ensures the intellectual and professional advancement of deaf and hard of hearing individuals through American Sign Language and English. Gallaudet maintains a proud tradition of research and scholarly activity and prepares its graduates for career opportunities in a highly competitive, technological, and rapidly changing world. For more information about Gallaudet University please log onto www.gallaudet.edu.