Walsh University cross country/track and field standout Sarah Berger was announced as one of the final Top 30 Honorees for the 2018 NCAA Woman of the Year Award, by the selection committee on Tuesday.
Berger's accomplishments as a student-athlete in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference were considered against other conference nominees from Divisions I, II and III. Ten of the final Top 30 are from Division II.
Berger was the 2017-18 Great Midwest Female Athlete of the Year and the Great Midwest Female Collegiate Achievement Award Winner all in her senior season at Walsh.
Selected from a record 581 school nominees — a group that was then narrowed to 154 nominees by conference offices — the Top 30 Honorees include 10 from each of the three NCAA divisions. All have demonstrated excellence in academics, athletics, community service and leadership. The honorees competed in 13 sports and studied a broad range of academic majors, including finance, biochemistry, microbiology, kinesiology, nursing and communication.
"These 30 women have demonstrated outstanding commitment to excelling in the classroom and in their sports while also serving their peers and communities," said Sherika Montgomery, chair of the Woman of the Year selection committee and associate commissioner for governance and compliance at The Summit League. "They represent the best and brightest of women competing in college and sports, and we're thrilled to celebrate them and their achievements."
The selection committee will announce the nine finalists, including three women from each NCAA division, in early October. From those finalists, the NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics will select the 2018 NCAA Woman of the Year. The Top 30 will be celebrated and the Woman of the Year will be named Oct. 28 at a ceremony in Indianapolis.
Berger capped her senior season at the NCAA DII Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Charlotte, N.C., with a national title in the 1,500-meter run and All-American honors in the 5K.
In the fall as a cross country standout, Berger was the 2017 Great Midwest Runner of the Year, individual runner-up at the national cross country championships and the USTFCCCA Midwest Region Athlete of the Year.
In the spring, Berger was crowned the USTFCCA Midwest Region Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year after sweeping Great Midwest Women's Track Athlete of the Meet at the outdoor conference championships and Great Midwest Women's Track Athlete of the Year.
She additionally shattered a number of conference records in both cross country and indoor and outdoor track and field.