Cramer Among Top 30 Nominees for NCAA Woman of the Year
HADLEY, Mass. – Recent Middlebury College
graduate Margo Cramer '12 has been
chosen as one of the top 30 nominees for the 2012 NCAA Woman of the
Year Award. Cramer was a two-sport standout for the Panthers,
starring in both cross country and track and field.
The NCAA Woman of the Year Award honors graduating student-athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in the areas of academic achievement, athletics excellence, service and leadership. The award has been given annually since 1991.
Cramer was selected from a group of nearly 430 individuals. A complete list of the top 30 nominees can be found on the NCAA website. The group includes 10 representatives from each of the NCAA's three divisions.
Three finalists will be chosen from each division in September. The 2012 Woman of Year will then be announced on October 14 in Indianapolis, Ind. During the ceremony, each of the top 30 women will be honored. Last year, Michaela Calnan of Bowdoin College was one of nine finalists for the award.
Cramer proved to be an all-around champion for the Panthers, as she excelled in the classroom, as a competitor and in the local community.
Finishing her tenure at Middlebury this past May, the Seattle,
Wash. native graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Women's and
Gender Studies (3.70 GPA). Among her many academic accomplishments,
she was recognized six times as Academic All-NESCAC, was
distinguished as a Middlebury Scholar on four occasions and twice
earned All-Academic honors from the United States Track and Field
and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
Cramer received Middlebury's Hazeltine-Klevenow Memorial trophy, given for excellence in academics and athletics and was named as an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship winner - one of only 174 of the annual recipients to receive the $7,500 award.
As a member of the Panthers' cross country team, Cramer helped her squad to three conference titles and two national championships (2008, 2010) over her four seasons. Although Middlebury finished as the runner-up at both the NESCAC and NCAA meets this past fall, the two-year captain recorded some of the best performances of her career, with a fourth-place showing at the league meet and a fifth-place finish at the national championship race. She earned All-NESCAC and All-America honors for the first time. Following the season, Cramer came away with her team's Dorcas den Hartog Award as the most valuable runner.
Cramer's success was not limited to the cross country trails of New England. During the winter months, she joined up with the Panthers' indoor track and field team, primarily competing in the mid-distance events along with the distance medley relay squad. The two-time indoor All-American made an appearance at each of the last three national track and field meets, most recently finishing fourth in the mile and helping the Middlebury distance medley team repeat as NCAA champions this past March. Cramer's indoor career featured six New England Regional titles, three of which came during her final campaign. Her strong performances earned her New England Indoor Athlete of the Year honors from the USTFCCCA.
After the winter indoor season would wrap up, Cramer returned outside for the remainder of the semester as part of Middlebury's outdoor track and field team. Over the course of her career, she came away as All-NESCAC 10 times and won six individual conference crowns, culminating with her second title in both the 1,500-meter run and 3,000-meter steeplechase this past April at Bates College. Her time of 10:28.66 in the steeplechase established a new NESCAC meet record.
The Panthers' captain went on to add her second USTFCCCA New
England Athlete of the Year honor before reaching the NCAA
championships in May, at which she became a two-time All-American
with her second consecutive runner-up performance in the
1,500-meter run along with a fifth place showing in the 800-meter
Cramer left Middlebury with 10 indoor and outdoor program records and earned the A. Bayard Russ '66 Memorial Athletic Award, given by the college for performance, aggressiveness, leadership, tremendous desire and team spirit in two intercollegiate sports.
While her efforts in the classroom and on the race course were impressive, Cramer's work in the local community displayed some of her greatest commitment. She was an advocate on the Middlebury campus and surrounding town for awareness regarding sexual assault and gender violence. A member of Middlebury's sexual assault oversight committee, she helped organize a campus-wide awareness event. In addition, she worked closely with the administration and the athletic department to fundraise and promote a lecture by well-known gender violence speaker Jackson Katz. Cramer also served as a Chellis House Monitor, Middlebury's women's resource center, with primary responsibilities including event staffing and promotion, and lent her time to Planned Parenthood for the Great Northwest. She was on the front lines of the college's cleanup effort in the local community after Hurricane Irene hit Vermont in August of 2011, and she managed to find time to mentor a sixth-grade student every Wednesday during the school year.
"My professors, coaches, teammates, and even my sixth-grade reading mentee comprise the community that I rely on for support," noted Cramer. "In turn, I feel it is my responsibility to set an example of hard work and respect in my community, just as I strive to do on my team."
Earlier this year, Cramer was selected 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 Haley Sive of Bates, Eleanor Curren of Bowdoin and Kristin Alotta of Williams.