Updated: June 13, 2012 6:06 pm (ET)
by America East Communications
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Stony Brook University cross country and track and field standout Lucy Van Dalen received the 2012 America East Woman of the Year award this evening at the conference’s annual awards dinner in Annapolis, Md. The honor recognizes the conference’s senior female student-athlete who has best distinguished herself throughout her collegiate career in the areas of academic achievement, athletic excellence, service and leadership.
The conference’s Senior Woman Administrators narrowed the pool of 12 institutional Woman of the Year nominees down to three finalists on May 30, and chose Van Dalen as the conference winner. The other finalists were University at Albany volleyball student-athlete Laurie Gonzalez and Binghamton University women’s basketball player Viive Rebane.
To be nominated, student-athletes must have completed intercollegiate eligibility in her primary sport by the end of the 2012 spring season, received her undergraduate degree prior to the conclusion of the summer 2012 term and had a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 2.500 (4.000 scale).
Van Dalen will now be forwarded to the NCAA Woman of the Year selection committee to be considered for the 2012 NCAA Woman of the Year. The selection committee will select the top 10 winners in each NCAA division (I, II and III). From among those 30 honorees, the selection committee will determine the top three in each division. Finally, the members of the CWA will vote from among the top nine to determine the 2012 NCAA Woman of the Year. America East is permitted to send two nominees for consideration due to Van Dalen’s status as an international student, so Rebane will also be nominated for the national award as the conference runner-up
Van Dalen, who became Stony Brook’s first-ever National Champion by winning the mile at the 2012 NCAA indoor track meet, has won multiple conference championships and six All-America honors throughout her illustrious career in cross country, the 3,000 meters, 1,500 meters, 800 meters and one mile races. Most recently, the senior closed out her collegiate career with a fourth-place finish in the 1,500-meter race at the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Meet
She has also garnered Scholar-Athlete awards from the America East and the SUNY Chancellor and been elected to the Golden Key International Honour Society and the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society. Van Dalen, invited by the Dean of Students to the University President’s Luncheon Series earlier this year, graduated Magna Cum Laude last spring with a 3.78 undergraduate GPA and owns a 4.00 GPA as she pursues her master’s in sociology.
The New Zealand runner is also an avid participant and chorus member of the Wanganui Baptist Church in her hometown for which she traveled on a mission trip to build an education center in the slums of Fiji.
In conjunction with the changes in the nomination process for the NCAA Woman of the Year award, the America East Woman of the Year award was established for the 2005-06 athletic season. Beginning in 2006, the NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics (CWA) started receiving conference-designated nominees in lieu of the previous institution- and state-based nomination format.
Year-by-Year America East Woman of the Year Honorees
2012 Lucy Van Dalen, Stony Brook (cross country/track & field)
2011 Nikki Branchini, Albany (lacrosse)
2010 Emily Pallotta, Boston U. (soccer)
2009 Kristen Millar, Vermont (lacrosse)
2008 Sarah Hudak, Boston U. (field hockey)
2007 Marisa Ryan, Boston U. (cross country/track & field)
2006 Ashlee Reed, Albany (volleyball)