Oswald Named Top-30 for NCAA Woman of the Year

By Jacob Most

Sept. 4, 2014 -

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky track and field and cross country all-time great distance runner Chelsea Oswald was named one of the top 30 honorees from 446 school nominees for the 2014 NCAA Woman of the Year Award on Tuesday.

Ten women from each of the three divisions make up the top 30, across multiple NCAA sports.

“I am very humbled to receive this award because good things aren’t possible without a great support system,” Oswald, who wrapped up her UK career last season, said. “I was blessed at UK with that support from my coaches, teammates, the athletic community and family. I am very excited to give back to the community with my future career helping others achieve their goals.”

The top 30 honorees reflect the pillars of the Woman of the Year award: outstanding achievements in academics, athletics, community service and leadership.

“Chelsea is an outstanding young woman and a deserving candidate for this special award,” UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said. “It has been a pleasure getting to know her over these last five years as a competitor, as a student and, most importantly, as a person. Chelsea is a model for what it means to be a student-athlete at the highest level and she has a bright future ahead of her.”

In late September, three finalists from each division will be selected to form the nine finalists for the award. The 2014 Woman of the Year will be announced at an annual ceremony in Indianapolis Oct. 19.

"These women are perfect examples of NCAA student-athletes succeeding on the field, in the classroom and in life," said Gloria Nevarez, NCAA Woman of the Year selection committee chair and senior associate commissioner for the Pac-12 Conference. "We are impressed by their outstanding achievements, and no matter the paths they take after college, we are confident that they will continue to lead their peers for many years to come."

Oswald was named the 2012-13 Southeastern Conference H. Boyd McWhorter Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year. The McWhorter Award goes to the conference's top scholar-athlete across all sports, and she also was named SEC track and field Scholar-Athlete of the Year as a junior.

Oswald’s 2012-13 season was key in reestablishing the UK cross country and track and field programs as nationally elite. She finished the year as a three-time All-American, double SEC Champion, and five-time All-SEC selection.

“Chelsea has set a strong example for the members of our women’s team on how to balance academics, athletics and life in general,” UK track and field and cross country head coach Edrick Floréal said. “We hope that our women will accept this challenge and emulate this accomplishment. I couldn’t be prouder of the woman Chelsea has grown to be and the potential that still lies in her for the future.”

She was a 2012 cross country All-American and 2013 indoor track and field All-American in the distance medley relay and at 3,000 meters. She was First Team All-SEC for the 2012 cross country season as she was Bronze Medalist at the Conference Championship. She finished the 2013 season as an honorable mention All-America at both 5 and 10K.

Oswald was also named First Team All-SEC as she won two conference championships - at 5,000 and 10,000 meters – in 2013. She set the SEC 10K record, and was fewer than two seconds off the conference 5K record.

Oswald is an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship recipient and also the recipient of the NCAA Elite 89 Award, which goes to the competitor with the highest grade-point average at each of the NCAA Championships.

She is currently in her first year of Physical Therapy School at the Ohio State University.

Oswald was a member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll, the Athletics Director's Honor Roll and the Dean's List each semester of her collegiate career.

She maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout her college career, as she graduated with a degree in Biology. The Medina, Ohio, native also was selected to the 2013 SEC Track and Field Community Service Team.

Note: Information was contributed to this report by Sean Cartell, SEC.