Thompson, Clark Nominated For NCAA Woman Of The Year Award
The Big West Conference nominated former student-athletes Nicole Thompson of CSUN and Kristen Clark of UC Santa Barbara for consideration for the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year Award.
A total of 145 nominees by conferences and independent schools spanning all three NCAA divisions – 58 from Division I, 34 in Division II and 53 in Division III – represent 16 different sports and are in the running for the award, which will be named at the annual banquet Oct. 22 in Indianapolis.
The NCAA Woman of the Year program has recognized graduating female student-athletes for excellence in academics, athletics, community service and leadership since its inception in 1991.
Thompson, a graduate student in structural engineering, completed her undergraduate studies in civil engineering last year and graduated with the highest GPA (3.82) of any student in the department.
Named CSUN’s 2017 Female Big West Scholar-Athlete of the Year, Thompson earned a 2016 National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-America Second Team award. She also was tabbed NSCAA Scholar All-West Region First Team. Thompson is a three-time resident (2014-16) of the Big West Fall All-Academic Team.
On the field, Thompson also excelled as a contributor to the Matadors winning their first Big West regular season championship in 2016. She anchored a stellar CSUN defensive unit that recorded a program-record 15 shutouts, including six straight shutouts in Big West play. Thompson’s exploits culminated with her selection as the Big West Defensive Player of the Year and to the All-Big West First Team. A native of Granada Hills, Calif., she followed that up with placement on the NSCAA All-West Region First Team.
Clark, who hails from Danville, Calif., concluded one of the most decorated softball careers in UC Santa Barbara history this past spring. A microbiology major with a 3.81 GPA, Clark earned all-conference honors four times, including twice on the All-Big West First Team (2014, 2016). The outfielder captured Big West Freshman of the Year honors in 2014 as well as Honorable Mention All-Pacific Region.
The Gaucho posted a career .378 batting average, the eighth-best mark in Big West history. She also fell just four hits short of becoming only the second player in league annals to collect 300 career hits (296).
In the classroom, Clark was named UCSB’s Female Big West Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2017. She received Big West Academic All-Conference kudos three consecutive years from 2015-17, and in that same span was UCSB’s Golden Eagle Award winner, bestowed to the individual with the highest GPA per team in the athletic department.
The NCAA Woman of the Year selection committee will name the Top 30 honorees – 10 from each division in early September. Three finalists from each division will be named at the end of September. The NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics will select the Woman of the Year from those finalists.