(INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Aug. 20, 2013) California Lutheran University swimmer Cortney Jordan (’13) has been selected as a Top 30 honoree for the NCAA Woman of the Year award. She is the first Paralympic student-athlete to be honored in the 23-year history of the award.
The WOTY award honors graduating female student-athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in the areas of academic achievement, athletics excellence, service and leadership.
A total of 455 female student-athletes were nominated for the 2013 NCAA Woman of the Year award this year. The pool was narrowed to 146 conference nominees who represent multiple sports across NCAA Divisions I, II and III. That number was narrowed to the Top 30, which is comprised of 10 women from each NCAA division and Jordan has earned one of those Division III spots. There are also three international students in the 2013 class.
When Jordan became aware of her accomplishment she was in shock.
“I didn't expect to make it to the Top 30,” she said, “To be in this category with 29 of the nation's top female athletes from all divisions is a huge honor. I am thrilled that I am able to represent Cal Lutheran at this level.”
On Sept. 11 the field will be narrowed to nine finalists, three from each division, by the NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics. An awards dinner on Sunday, Oct. 20, will serve as the venue for announcing and honoring the 2013 Woman of the Year while all Top 30 honorees will be recognized at the annual event.
This year the Top 30 honorees reflect the pillars of the award by cumulatively earning a 3.79 grade point average with nearly 50 Academic All-America honors. The group combined for 12 national championships (individual and team) with more than 80 All-America recognitions. The women volunteered for 365 organizations throughout their college careers while serving in numerous leadership roles on campus and in the community.
Anna Soho, NCAA Woman of the Year selection committee chair, described the extraordinary commitment to academics and athletics by each of the top 30 honorees.
“These distinguished women are truly quintessential NCAA student-athletes, demonstrating dedication not only to athletic achievement but academic excellence and community leadership as well,” said Soho. “The NCAA applauds their achievements, and we know that they will continue to be role models and make a positive impact on the world.”
Cal Lutheran could not have a better representative than Jordan, who makes more waves as the first Paralympian honored. Last week she completed the 2013 International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Swimming World Championships in Quebec, where she hauled in six medals, including a trio of golds. Now that training has subsided she will continue to serve as a U.S. Paralympic ambassador for the U.S. Olympic Committee with the mission of promoting awareness and opportunities available to athletes with disabilities.