Former West Virginia University rifle standout Ginny Thrasher remains eligible for consideration for the 2019 NCAA Woman of the Year Award, announced by the NCAA on Tuesday.
From an original group of 585 school nominees, conferences and an independent selection committee chose 148 student-athletes to continue their candidacy for the award, which recognizes graduating female college athletes who have exhausted their eligibility and distinguished themselves in academics, athletics, service and leadership throughout their collegiate careers.
Thrasher, a native of Springfield, Virginia, is one of 64 student-athletes to have competed at the Division I level and is the only rifle athlete among the 148 nominees.
Thrasher joins Annie Pankowski (Wisconsin women's ice hockey), Stephanie Relova (San Jose State gymnastics) and Franziska Weidner (Hawaii swimming and diving) as the four nominees to advance in the selection process not sponsored by their school's core conference.
The 148 nominees competed in 20 different sports across all three NCAA divisions, including 64 from Division I, 33 from Division II and 51 from Division III.
Thrasher capped a brilliant four-year Mountaineer career with three All-America first team honors in 2018-19, bringing her career All-America count to 12. The 2019 Great America Rifle Conference (GARC) Shooter of the Year and Outstanding Senior, she won the air rifle title at the 2019 GARC Championships, her third consecutive win and fifth conference title. She also finished fifth in smallbore at the 2019 NCAA Rifle Championships.
Thrasher graduated in May with a degree in biomedical engineering. A 2018 Rhodes Scholarship finalist, she was named to the 2019 WVU Order of Augusta and was tabbed a 2019 WVU Outstanding Senior. She received the 2019 Dr. Gerald Lage Academic Achievement Award and was named to the Academic All-Big 12 At-Large First Team and the CRCA All-Academic Team. Thrasher, a 2016 Olympic Gold medalist (women's air rifle), also was a member of the President's and Dean's Lists, as well as the Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll and the Garrett Ford Academic Honor Roll.
In 2018-19, Thrasher led the Mountaineers to a runner-up finish at the NCAA Rifle Championships. WVU won its 10th consecutive GARC Championships title and sixth consecutive conference regular-season title. The Mountaineers finished the year at 13-0 (8-0 GARC) and ranked No. 2 nationally.
Next, the Woman of the Year selection committee, made up of representatives from the NCAA membership, will choose the top 30 honorees in September — 10 from each division. Then, the selection committee will determine the top three honorees from each division from the top 30 and announce the nine finalists in October. From those nine finalists, the NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics will choose the 2019 NCAA Woman of the Year.
The top 30 honorees will be celebrated, and the 2019 NCAA Woman of the Year will be named at the annual award ceremony Oct. 20 in Indianapolis.
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