Two alumnae from the University of Mount Olive were named as nominees for the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year Award, it was announced by the NCAA. Former women's lacrosse defender Gina Fader and women's indoor and outdoor track & field sprinter Alexis McNeil represent the Trojans as the Conference Carolinas selections for this year's list.
A native of Levittown, N.Y., Fader helped the Trojans reach the Conference Carolinas championship game while setting new program season records in ground balls (436), draw controls (263) and caused turnovers (239) in 2017. Fader became the all-time leader in ground balls with 151 in her career and set a personal season best of 58.
She started 71 games and appeared in all 73 over her four year career. During Fader's time as a Trojan, the team went 52-22 overall and 27-5 in conference play. With Fader on the team, the Trojans won the 2015 Championship, participated in the 2016 Championship game and claimed the 2017 regular season title.
McNeil, a native of Bowie, Md., set numerous records for the women's indoor and outdoor track and field team. She is a 16-time all-region selection and holds the top spot for seven events in the UMO Track & Field record books. McNeil was also honored with the 2017 Trojan Globe award for Outstanding Female Student-Athlete.
She holds the program's fastest times in the 100m, 200m, 4X100 and 4X400 medley relay events for the outdoor season, and for the indoor season, she sits above the rest in the 60m, 200m and distance medley relay events.
"Alexis and Gina are two very deserving candidates to represent not only Mount Olive, but Conference Carolinas as the two representatives for Woman of the Year," said LaToya Lindsey, the Associate Director of Athletics and SWA for the University of Mount Olive. "They both were student-athletes who embodied the principles of leadership, academic excellence, and athletic achievement. I could not be more proud of them."
Both student-athletes graduated in May of 2017 with a Bachelors of Science in psychology.
In early September, the Woman of the Year selection committee will name the Top 30 honorees, which include 10 women from each division. At the end of September, the selection committee will select and announce nine finalists, with three from each division. The NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics will select the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year from those finalists.
The Top 30 honorees will be celebrated and the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year will be named at the annual banquet Oct. 22 in Indianapolis.