Now in its 27th year, the Woman of the Year award honors graduating female college athletes who have exhausted their eligibility and distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in academics, athletics, service, and leadership. Every year, the NCAA encourages each member college and university to honor its top one or two graduating female student-athletes by submitting their names for consideration for the Woman of the Year award.
To be eligible for the award, a female student-athlete must have completed intercollegiate eligibility in her primary sport by the end of the 2017 spring season, graduated no later than the end of the 2017 summer term and achieved a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.50.
Corley is the third Mary Washington student-athlete to be chosen as the CAC's nominee for NCAA Woman of the Year. Another swimmer, Nina Michelle Sawyer, received the honor in 2010, while lacrosse player Melissa Block represented UMW as the CAC's nominee in 2003.
Corley, a marketing major, graduated Magna Cum Laude with a 3.71 cumulative grade point average this past spring. She was a two-time College Swimming Coaches Association All-America Scholar-Athlete, earned UMW Academic Honor Roll accolades all eight semesters and CAC Academic Honor Roll each of her four years. Corley was a four-time member of the Dean's List and three-time member of the President's List. She was also a part of the National Business Honor Society, Sigma Beta Delta Honor Society, and the Chi Alpha Sigma Honor Society.
Corley completed her career as one of the most decorated swimmers in conference history. She is one of just seven swimmers to earn both CAC Rookie of the Year and CAC Swimmer of the Year honors throughout their careers. Corley was named Rookie of the Year in 2014 and captured Swimmer of the Year honors as a junior in 2016.
A 21-time All-CAC selection, Corley led the Eagles to CAC titles in each of her four seasons, extending the UMW women's swimming title streak to 27 straight years. She earned bids to the NCAA Championships in both her junior and senior seasons, claiming a pair of All-America honors. In 2016, she received All-America recognition as the part of the Eagles' 200 medley relay that finished 13th at NCAA's. In 2017, she captured her first individual All-America nod, placing 13th in the 200 IM. She finished her career with numerous conference and UMW school swimming records. Corley owns conference and school records in the 100 IM, 200 IM, 400 IM, 200 medley relay, and 400 medley relay.
Away from the pool, Corley was also heavily involved in the community. Each of her four years at UMW, she helped out at Stafford Junction Clinic, a faith-based nonprofit organization that serves high-need children, youth and their families residing in Stafford County. She also was involved in Special Olympics, the Student-Athlete Advisory food drive, Fear 2 Freedom events to help sexual assualt victims, community dinners, and Head Start Holidays, helping fill boxes full of toys, hats and gloves for children in need.
Corley's list of accomplishments is unquestionably superb. However, perhaps most impressive about her journey is the way she overcame personal adversity along the way. Prior to her junior year, her mother lost her job during a two-year fight with breast cancer. Corley was faced with a decision - stay home and help the family, or return to school while simultaneously taking on a full-time job. She chose the latter, and spent countless hours and early mornings in the pool and all-nighters in the library, all while working full-time. Some encouraged her to quit swimming in order to manage everything that was happening in her life. Corley never considered quitting as an option, however, and became one of the top swimmers in conference history.
The top 30 honorees for NCAA Woman of the Year ,10 from each NCAA division, will be announced in early September. 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 from among those nine to determine the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year.
The top 30 honorees will be celebrated and the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year winner will be announced at the annual award ceremony in October.
Four national finalists have represented the CAC in the NCAA Woman of the Year competition since 1996, including Goucher's Michele Mohlman (1996), Mary Washington's Melissa Block (2003), Goucher's Stephanie LaGue (2005) and Salisbury's Sue Ackermann (2008).
CAC NCAA Woman of the Year Candidates
|1996||Michele Mohlman||Goucher||Field hockey/Basketball/Lacrosse||Md. state winner & national finalist|
|2003||Melissa Block||Mary Washington||Lacrosse||Va. state winner & national finalist|
|2005||Stephanie LaGue||Goucher||Swimming||Md. state winner & national finalist|
|2008||Sue Ackermann||Salisbury||Lacrosse||CAC nominee & national finalist|
|2009||Brie McDowell||St. Mary's||Swimming||CAC nominee|
|2010||Nina Michelle Sawyer||Mary Washington||Swimming||CAC nominee|
|2011||Sarah Stephens||Frostburg State||Volleyball/Tennis||CAC nominee|
|2012||Anna Macedonia||Marymount||Swimming||CAC nominee|
|2013||Tristin Burris||Wesley||FH, XC, T&F, Soft, Lax||CAC nominee|
|2014||Katelyn Fischer||Marymount||Basketball||CAC nominee|
|2015||Christy Bishop||St. Mary's||Field Hockey/Lacrosse||CAC nominee|
|2016||Breck Sullivan||Salisbury||Field Hockey||CAC nominee|
|2017||Anna Corley||Mary Washington||Swimming||CAC nominee|