Rowatt named 2003 NCAA Woman of the YearINDIANAPOLIS (Nov. 1, 2003) Ashley Jo Rowatt, a former swimming and diving standout at Kenyon College, is the 2003 NCAA Woman of the Year. Rowatt received the award - one of the most prestigious that the NCAA bestows - at the 13th annual NCAA Woman of the Year Awards Dinner this evening at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown. The award honors academic and athletics excellence, as well as community service and leadership.
Rowatt was chosen from about 350 nominations. A selection committee composed of representatives from member schools chose 50 winners representing the states, and then narrowed the field to 10 national finalists. The NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics selected Rowatt from among the 10 finalists.
The Louisville, Kentucky native is the first student-athlete from Kenyon to be named the NCAA Woman of the Year. In fact, Rowatt is the first student-athlete in Division III to win the award.
An outstanding scholar, Rowatt graduated summa cum laude with highest honors last May with a 3.96 grade-point average (on a 4.0 scale) in molecular biology. A two-time Verizon Academic All-American in 2002 and 2003, she was the 2003 Verizon Academic All-American of the Year. Rowatt, an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship recipient, was the Robert Bowen Brown Jr. Prize winner, which recognizes best original research in biology at Kenyon, and the 2003 Jess Falkenstine Award honoree, for the outstanding Kenyon scholar-athlete who exemplifies leadership and integrity. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, she was inducted into Sigma Xi, the scientific research society.
Rowatt, a four-year qualifier for the NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving National Championship, was an individual NCAA champion in the 400-yard individual medley (twice), the 800-yard freestyle relay (twice) and the 200-yard individual medley. In addition, she was a four-time conference champion, both individually and with her team. Her team won the NCAA championship in 2000, 2002 and 2003 and was conference champions four times. At the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) championships, she won four events and was named All-NCAC nine times.
Rowatt, the daughter of Wade and Jodi Rowatt, was a member of the American Chemical Society for students, Kenyon Bible studies and the Symphonic Wind Ensemble. She was a member of her campus student-athlete committee and tutored trouble youth. She was the swimming team co-captain in 2002-03.
Last year's Woman of the Year was Tanisha Silas, a student-athlete from the University of California, Davis, who competed in track and field and graduated with a degree in neurobiology, physiology and behavior.