Tropiano Named Semifinalist for NCAA Woman of the Year
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The NCAA has selected the top 30 honorees for the 2009 NCAA Woman of the Year award that will be presented in October. Elise Tropiano (Plainview, N.Y.), a 2009 graduate of Amherst College and the NESCAC nominee for this year's award, has been selected as one of the 30 semifinalists. The NCAA Woman of the Year Award honors senior student-athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in the areas of academic achievement, athletics excellence, service and leadership.
Each of the three NCAA divisions had 10 individuals selected as semifinalists. Tropiano is joined from New England by Jennifer Kleinhans from the University of Connecticut, who was nominated by the Big East conference. The Northeast-10 representative among the semifinalists is Kailey Egbert from the College of St. Rose in Albany, N.Y. A full list of semifinalists can be found on the NCAA website.
A committee composed of
representatives from NCAA member schools and conferences selected
the top 30 honorees – 10 from each division – from a
pool of 132 conference nominees, which included seven
student-athletes from independent institutions, representing all
three NCAA divisions and multiple sports.
The top 30 will be trimmed to nine finalists – three from each division – next month and the NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics will select the national winner from that pool of finalists. The recipient of the 19th annual award will be announced during the 2009 NCAA Woman of the Year awards dinner on October 18 in Indianapolis.
The 2008 NCAA Woman of the Year was Tennessee women’s basketball standout Nkolika Anosike.
A three-sport athlete during all of
her four years at Amherst, Tropiano served as the Jeffs’
cross country and indoor and outdoor track and field captain
throughout her final season. The Amherst cross country team enjoyed
unprecedented success over her tenure. The Jeffs won their
first-ever league title during the 24th annual NESCAC Cross Country
Championships in 2006 and also finished as the national runner-up.
Tropiano’s squad followed the next fall with a second
conference crown and captured the program’s first NCAA title.
She wrapped up her cross country career in 2008 by winning the
NESCAC Cross Country Championships and being named Most Outstanding
Performer while also placing first at the NCAA New England Regional
and finishing as the runner-up at the national championship. Along
the way, Tropiano twice garnered All-NESCAC First Team honors and
All-America recognition (2007, 2008).
As a member of the Jeffs’ track and field teams, Tropiano received All-America accolades seven times during her career, earning indoor 5,000-meter All-America honors three straight years from 2007 through 2009. After finishing seventh in her previous two indoor 5,000-meter attempts, Tropiano won her first individual national title this past season with a first place showing in the 5,000-meter (16:58.84) at the NCAA championships in March. Tropiano also was named All-NESCAC twice as she claimed conference recognition in 2007 with a second place finish in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and again in 2008 by winning the 10,000-meter run. She was limited during the 2009 outdoor season due to injury. In addition to the honors and awards Tropiano has accumulated during her career, she also owns the New England regional championship record in the steeplechase with a time of 10:36.46 in 2008.
achievements rival the athletic awards she collected during her
time with the Jeffs. Graduating from Amherst in May with a degree
in psychology, Tropiano completed her academic career with a 3.64
grade point average. A two-time member of the US Track and Field
and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-Academic Team,
Tropiano was selected as the 2008 Cross Country Scholar Athlete of
the Year in February. She was also named to the NESCAC All-Academic
Team on five separate occasions during her junior and senior years
and was twice recognized as a CoSIDA District I Academic
All-American, finding a spot on the Second Team in 2008 before
moving up to the First Team in 2009. Amherst honored Tropiano with
the Tom Gerety Fellowship for Action in 2007 and the Samuel Walley
Brown Scholarship in 2008, given to the one student who most
exemplifies leadership, scholarship, athleticism, and
An active member of the community, Tropiano dedicated a significant amount of time while at Amherst to helping others. Tropiano was heavily involved in the Pipeline Scholars Program from 2006 through 2009 as both a tutor and a program manager, as she collaborated with Amherst public schools to create a tutoring program in an effort to connect Amherst College students with underprivileged youth. She also helped recruit and train Amherst College students as tutors for the program. During the summer of 2008, Tropiano served as an assistant director for the Pipeline Scholars program, conducting the administrative details of a summer enrichment program for Amherst public schools while also supervising fellow college student interns and providing guidance in the use of pedagogical techniques. In addition to the many other activities she participated in, Tropiano was a Bonner Community Engagement Leader, helping to raise student awareness and engagement with events related to social justice, education, and human rights, and also served as a student manager in the Amherst College Wolff Fitness Center from 2005-07.
Tropiano was the unanimous choice by a committee of conference administrators to represent the NESCAC from a field of talented student-athletes nominated for the Woman of the Year Award. Other nominees included Isabel Alexander (Harvard, Mass.) of Bates, Kate Sheridan (Hingham, Mass.) of Colby, Amory Minot (Newton, Mass.) of Trinity, and Lisa Drennan (Ann Arbor, Mich.) of Wesleyan.