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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Former UA swimmer named Woman of the Year

    Whitney Myers, a former UA swimmer who graduated in 2007, was named the NCAA Woman of the Year Saturday night at the 17th annual NCAA Woman of the Year Awards in Indianapolis, Ind.

    The award, given to the female athlete who displays the most athletic and academic success as well as involvement in the community, is one of the most prestigious awards the NCAA gives to athletes who have completed their collegiate eligibility.

    “”(Whitney) is a very hard-working person,”” said Frank Busch, the UA swimming and diving head coach. “”She’s a really special person. She was elected as team captain as a sophomore, which is very rare. This is one of the highest awards possible.””

    In her swim career at Arizona, Myers achieved First-Team All-American status in seven events and finished in the top three at the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships in eight events. She holds 14 school records and two NCAA records, and was a member of the U.S. National Team for three straight years. Myers qualified for the 2008 Olympic trials.

    “”What she’s accomplished here speaks for itself,”” Busch said. “”Every time she competed, she got better.””

    But what sealed the award for Myers were her academic achievements and community leadership. She earned First-Team Academic All-American status all four years at Arizona, and was a two-time recipient of both the Mary Roby Academic Achievement and Arizona Academic Champions Awards.

    In the community, Myers sponsored a low-income family, founded and directed a local swim clinic, and worked closely with the Girl Scouts, elementary schools, retirement communities, and the children’s ward of University Medical Center.

    “”She’s done so well in school and with her involvement in the community,”” Busch said. “”She’s so upbeat and positive, and she brings that energy to the people around her in the community.””

    Myers is the second Wildcat to win the award, joining Tanya Hughes of track and field in 1994 while beating out 29 other women to do so.

    “”This is something, winning in a field of 30 finalists,”” Busch said. “”This was the best of the best. It shows the type of student-athletes we have at this school. You can’t buy this kind of publicity for the school.””

    For Myers, her time at Arizona taught her so much more than swimming.

    “”Participation in collegiate swimming has allowed me to continue to build self-esteem while teaching me to believe in my abilities and preparation,”” Myers wrote in her personal statement on her nomination form. “”I’ve also developed a strong belief in exhibiting responsible social behavior outside the athletic arena.

    “”Most importantly, I’ve learned to manage my time wisely while realizing the benefits of goal setting, self-discipline, personal sacrifice, perseverance, and dedication every day.””

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