kendra Harrison, Griffin Joiner Nominated for NCAA Woman of the Year
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Kentucky track and field star Kendra Harrison and softball captain Griffin Joiner have been nominated for the 2015 NCAA Woman of the Year award, which honors graduating female college athletes who have exhausted their eligibility and distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in academics, athletics, service and leadership.
Harrison and Joiner are two of 480 female student-athletes -- the most ever in the 25-year history of the program -- nominated for the award. The NCAA encourages member schools to honor its top graduating female student-athletes each year by submitting their names for consideration for the Woman of the Year award.
The initial list of nominees will be shorted when each conference represented assess each nominee's eligibility and selects up to two conference nominees. All conference nominees are forwarded to the Woman of the Year selection committee, which chooses the top 30 honorees -- 10 from each division.
From the top 30, the selection committee determines the top three nominees from each division and announces the top nine finalists in September. The NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics then chooses from those nine to determine the 2015 NCAA Woman of the Year.
The 2015 NCAA Woman of the Year winner will be announced, and the Top 30 honorees celebrated, at the annual award ceremony Oct. 18 in Indianapolis. The complete list of nominee can be found online at ncaa.com.
Harrison was recently named National Track Athlete of the Year by Division I coaches after a historic season in which she went undefeated in short hurdles races and won two NCAA Championships.
As an amateur runner, she ranks No. 2 in the world this season in the 100-meter hurdles and 400m hurdles, an astounding fact considering most professionals only run one event or the other because each event requires such different skillsets. As a senior, she became the only woman in collegiate history to be ranked top-five all-time among collegians in both events, ranked No. 3 in the 100m hurdles and No. 5 in the 400m hurdles.
She wrapped her career as a two-time NCAA Champion, five-time SEC Champion, 13-time All-American and four-time NCAA Medalist. Harrison is a Captial One Academic All-District selection, as well as a USTFCCCA All-Academic selection. She made headlines in the Lexington area earlier this spring regarding her diverse family background.
Joiner, who was named a 2015 Senior CLASS Award First-Team All-American earlier this season, ended a fantastic career with Kentucky by helping the team reach NCAA Super Regionals for the third straight season. The native of Hopkinsville, Ky., has been a model student-athlete on and off the field during her time in Lexington, recently graduating with honors. She also led the team in community service hours, and was named to the SEC Community Service Team.
Joiner, who started every game of her collegiate career, including 245 games at catcher, ended her career ranked top 10 all-time in several single-season record at UK, including batting average, doubles, walks, home runs, slugging percentage, putouts and fielding percentage. Joiner ended her career with a .303 batting average with 42 doubles, two triples, 35 homers and 143 RBI. Her name is also inked all over UK's single-season records list. In her final season, Joiner hit .299 with nine doubles, one triple and 11 home runs and 43 RBI. Last season, Joiner was named national player of the week, becoming only the fourth player in school history to claim a national player of the week honor. She has earned several postseason honors and is only the third player in school history with five or more All-SEC honor. Joiner was named SEC All-Freshman in 2012, Second-Team All-SEC and All-SEC Defensive Team in 2013 and All-SEC Defensive Team in 2014 and 2015. Joiner is the only catcher in SEC history to earn three-straight All-SEC Defensive Team honors.
Currently, Joiner is playing for the Akron Racers in the National Pro Fastpitch league after being selected 19th overall in the 2015 NPF College Draft.