WUSTL Graduate Liz Phillips Named 2012 NCAA Woman of the Year
A CLOSER LOOK AT LIZ PHLLIPS
ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICA VIDEO
Indianapolis, Ind., October 14, 2012 — 2012 Washington University in St. Louis graduate Elizabeth Phillips, Homer Glen, Ill. (Lockport) was named the 2012 NCAA Woman of the Year, as announced at a ceremony on Sunday in Indianapolis.
Phillips is the third NCAA Division III student-athlete to win the award, joining Ashley Jo Rowatt of Kenyon College (2003) and Laura Barito of Stevens Institute of Technology (2011).
“Winning Woman of the Year was really exciting! I was so surprised when my name was read,” said Phillips. “It is exciting to put Washington University on the map in that way and to represent Division III. Honestly, over the past two days it has been great to meet all of these amazing women. To even be amongst them is such an honor.”
This year’s finalists were selected based on academic achievement, athletics excellence and dedication to community service and leadership. Three women from each NCAA division were chosen as finalists. The nine finalists are among the 30 Woman of the Year honorees who were recognized during the Oct. 14 event. The pool of 30 emerged from a group of nearly 430 nominees, and includes 10 honorees from each NCAA division.
Phillips, who graduated in May with a degree in biomedical engineering and a 4.0 GPA, completed her career as one of the most decorated student-athletes in school history. She became the first-ever three-time NCAA Elite 88/89 Award winner in any NCAA division. In 2012, Phillips was named the Capital One Academic All-America of the Year Division III award winner for women’s track & field/cross country, making her the first track & field/cross country Academic All-America of the Year winner in Washington U. history. She also earned first-team Academic All-America honors in 2011 and 2012.
A seven-time indoor and outdoor track & field All-American, Phillips ranks in the top-three in Washington University history in five different indoor and outdoor events, including holding the outdoor 1,500 school record. She was the team captain and finished 40th individually to help Washington U. capture its first NCAA Division III National Championship in women’s cross country in 2011.
During her final track & field season, Phillips earned All-America honors with a third-place finish in the mile and as a member of the national runner-up distance medley relay team at the 2012 NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field Championships. She then capped her stellar career by finishing sixth in the 1,500 to earn All-America honors at the 2012 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
As a community leader, Phillips dedicated numerous hours to volunteer activities, serving as a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), a coach for Girls on the Run, and secretary and vice president for the Society of Women Engineers.
“What I really loved about being a runner at Washington University was the team experience. I had an amazing team,” said Phillips. “It didn’t matter if you were the best runner on the team or if you a runner who would never make the conference lineup, you’re all equal on our team. You’re all equal in our coach’s eyes and all of our eyes. Everyone mattered.”
Phillips was the fourth NCAA Woman of the Year finalist in Washington University school history, joining Julia Burdick (1992), Amy Sullivan (1994) and Alia Fischer (2000).
The NCAA established the Woman of the Year Award in 1991 to celebrate the achievements of women in intercollegiate athletics. The award recognizes not only the athletics achievements of outstanding young women, but also their academic achievements, community service and leadership.