Washington University in St. Louis alumna Elizabeth Phillips was named the 2012 NCAA Woman of the Year during a ceremony Sunday in Indianapolis. Phillips is the third NCAA Division III student-athlete to win the award, joining Ashley Jo Rowatt of Kenyon College (2003) and Laura Barito of Stevens Institute of Technology (2011).
This year’s finalists were selected based on academic achievement, athletics excellence and dedication to community service and leadership.
Three women from each NCAA division were chosen as finalists. The nine finalists are among the 30 Woman of the Year honorees who were recognized during the Oct. 14 event. The pool of 30 emerged from a group of nearly 430 nominees, and includes 10 honorees from each NCAA division.
Phillips, who graduated in May with a degree in biomedical engineering and a 4.0 GPA, completed her career as one of the most decorated student-athletes in school history. She became the first three-time NCAA Elite 88/89 Award winner in any NCAA division.
In 2012, Phillips was named the Capital One Academic All-America of the Year Division III award winner for women’s track and field/cross country, making her the first track and field/cross country Academic All-America of the Year winner in Washington University history.
She also earned first-team Academic All-America honors in 2011 and 2012. A seven-time indoor and outdoor track and field All-American, Phillips ranks in the top three in Washington University history in five different indoor and outdoor events, including holding the outdoor 1,500 school record.
She was the team captain and finished 40th individually to help WUSTL capture its first NCAA Division III National Championship in women’s cross country in 2011.
During her final track & field season, Phillips earned All-America honors with a third-place finish in the mile and as a member of the national runner-up distance medley relay team at the 2012 NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field Championships. She then capped her stellar career by finishing sixth in the 1,500 to earn All-America honors at the 2012 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
As a community leader, Phillips dedicated numerous hours to volunteer activities, serving as a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, a coach for Girls on the Run, and secretary and vice president for the Society of Women Engineers.
Phillips was the fourth NCAA Woman of the Year finalist in Washington University school history, joining Julia Burdick (1992), Amy Sullivan (1994) and Alia Fisher (2000).