Mount Union track and field student athlete Marisa Rinaldi has been nominated for the NCAA Woman of the Year award.
Rinaldi was a four-year letterwinner on the Purple Raiders' indoor and outdoor track and field teams and piled up 13 all-conference awards, six conference event titles and was the 2017 Ohio Athletic Conference Sprint Athlete of the Meet at the conference indoor championships. She earned All-American honors in her final collegiate event as part of the 4x100 meter relay team that won the national title at the 2017 NCAA Division III Outdoor Championships.
Off the track, she was a three-time Academic All-OAC selection and in 2017 earned the OAC's Clyde Lamb Award as Mount Union's top female schloar athlete. She earned a bachleor's degree in Psychology this past May and president of the Psychology Club on campus. She plans to become a behavioral therapist and work with children with autism.
"Track has taught me that I could be a strong leader and role model even when I did not think I could be," stated Rinaldi. "It not only has taught me that I can push myself to new limits but that I could lead, empower, and influence younger athletes."
"Throughout my time at Mount Union, I have learned to be very compassionate and empathetic to others," commented Rinaldi. "I have also learned to see other peoples viewpoints and help them through difficult problems."
A record 543 female college athletes -- 197 from Division III -- have been nominated by NCAA member schools for the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year award.
Rinaldi is the only nominee from the Ohio Athletic Conference.
The Woman of the Year selection committee, made up of representatives from the NCAA membership, will next choose the top 30 honorees — 10 from each division.
From the top 30, the selection committee determines the top three honorees from each division and announces the nine finalists in September. The NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics then chooses the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year from those nine.
The top 30 honorees will be recognized and the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year will be announced at the annual award ceremony Oct. 22 in Indianapolis.