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07/31/2017

Winthrop's Cridland Shares Big South Woman of the Year Honors

Quick Facts

 The Big South’s Woman of the Year Selection Committee voted Cridland of Perth, Australia, and Van Noord of Hudsonville, Michigan, the co-honorees among the six candidates nominated for the award.
 The committee used criteria of service and leadership, academic achievement, athletics excellence and a personal statement from each candidate. As the Big South’s Woman of the Year, the two will be nominated as the conference’s candidates for the national NCAA Woman of the Year Award.

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Caitlin Cridland
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA – The Big South Conference announced this month that Winthrop tennis player Caitlin Cridland and Liberty University soccer player Holly Van Noord have been named the Big South Conference’s Woman of the Year for 2016-17.

The Big South’s Woman of the Year Selection Committee voted Cridland of Perth, Australia, and Van Noord of Hudsonville, Michigan, the co-honorees among the six candidates nominated for the award. The committee used criteria of service and leadership, academic achievement, athletics excellence and a personal statement from each candidate. As the Big South’s Woman of the Year, the two will be nominated as the conference’s candidates for the national NCAA Woman of the Year Award.

Cridland wrapped up a remarkable career this past spring by helping the Eagles capture their 19th Big South Conference championship and clinch an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships for the 15th time. She finished her senior year with a 15-8 singles record and a 19-6 doubles mark. Cridland was selected to the All-Big South Singles First Team, the All-Big South Doubles Second Team and was named to the Big South All-Academic Team after compiling a 3.56 grade point average while majoring in chemistry with a minor in biology. Now attending graduate school at Virginia Tech, Cridland intends to pursue a career in pharmaceutical and cancer research. She also plans to continue to mentor and encourage girls from Australia and around the world to pursue their dreams of becoming college athletes.

During her Winthrop career, Cridland served as team captain, was a representative and co-vice president on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, volunteered with numerous organizations including the Boys and Girls Club of York County, Toys for Happiness, the Bone Marrow Donor Registry, and helped fundraise for Alex's Lemonade Stand for Pediatric Cancer Research. In addition, she worked as a volunteer in the Winthrop Admissions Office, served as a receptionist in the Winthrop chemistry department and was a student worker for Winthrop's ARAMARK catering service.

The NCAA Woman of the Year Selection Committee will determine the top 10 honorees in each division by considering specific guidelines based on the four pillars of the award: academics, athletics, service and leadership. From among those 30 candidates, the selection committee will determine the top three in each division. Finally, the members of the Committee on Women’s Athletics will vote from among the top nine finalists to determine the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year.

Cridland and Van Noord and are among 145 conference honorees and 534 overall nominees for NCAA Woman of the Year, which is now in its 27th year. All school and conference honorees receive an NCAA certificate and will be recognized on www.ncaa.org. The top 10 honorees from Divisions I, II and III, including the nine overall finalists, will be honored with the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year winner which will be announced at a dinner Oct. 22, 2017 in Indianapolis.

The Big South had its first national finalist in 2005 when Winthrop’s Janiva Willis was named one of the 10 finalists.

For more information, contact Brett Redden of Winthrop Athletics at reddenb@winthrop.edu.


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