Skolaski Named Finalist

Sept. 12, 2005

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Jennifer Skolaski, a former University of Iowa Swimmer and 2005 graduate, was named as one of 10 finalists for the NCAA Woman of the Year Award. This award recognizes senior student-athletes in intercollegiate athletics for their outstanding achievements in athletics, academics and community service.

This year’s finalists, who have an average grade-point average of 3.82 on a 4.0 scale, graduated or will graduate with degrees in the following majors: accounting, American history, communications, French, international studies, kinesiology, microbiology, physical education and social work.

Skolaski, from Madison, WI, became Iowa’s first four-time NCAA qualifier in swimming. She was one of Iowa’s two 2005 Big Ten Medal of Honor Award winners, and earned an NCAA postgraduate scholarship earlier this year. Skolaski finished her career ranked in the top 10 all-time best performers list for 11 of the 14 individual swimming events, holding school records in six events and ranking second in three. A two-time team MVP and captain, she swam on 15 relays that are ranked in Iowa’s top 10. Skolaski was a two-time all-American and academic all-American. She was a three-time academic all-Big Ten selection and served as chair for the 2005 Iowa Student Athlete Advisory Committee.

“This is certainly a rare accomplishment,” said University of Iowa Head Swimming Coach Marc Long. “Jennifer is one of those rare student-athletes who was able to combine her talents and efforts in and out of the pool. It’s a great honor for both her and the program she represents at the University of Iowa. We’re extremely proud of all her achievements.”

The 10 finalists for the 2005 NCAA Woman of the Year award include six NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship recipients and seven of the ten are or were involved with the NCAA Student-Athlete Advisory Committees (SAAC) on their campuses and in their conferences. SAAC is a committee made up of student-athlete leaders who provide vital perspective to the committees by sharing their unique experiences of being a student-athlete. The SAAC is the “student voice” in the NCAA’s governance structure.

The finalists were selected from 355 entries by the NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics, composed of athletics administrators from NCAA member colleges and universities. The committee will select the 2005 NCAA Woman of the Year from among the 10 finalists. The national winner will be announced at an awards dinner on October 29 in Indianapolis.

The other nine finalists are:

Name – School – Sport
Michelle Reeser – University of Alabama – Gymnastics
Alisha Williams – Western State College of Colorado – Cross Country / Track and Field
Leah Geib – University of Delaware – Field Hockey
Melissa Lehman – Barry University – Volleyball
Richelle Simpson – University of Nebraska – Gymnastics
Dierdre Dlugonski – Penn State University – Swimming and Diving
Janiva Willis – Winthrop University – Softball
Lauryn McCalley – University of Tennessee – Swimming and Diving
Lindsay Hagerman – Washington and Lee University – Tennis