Boston, Mass. (August 1) -- MIT cross country/track and field standout Maryann Gong `17 (Livermore, Calif.) has been named as one of two New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference's (NEWMAC) NCAA Woman of the Year nominees. Gong and Lauren Holt of Springfield College were voted as the league nominees by the 11 NEWMAC athletic directors. The NCAA Woman of the Year award honors student-athletes based on academics, athletics, service and leadership.
From a program-record 543 school nominees, the field has now been trimmed to 145 female student-athletes who have been nominated by conferences and an independent selection committee. Gong is one of 53 Division III student-athletes remaining as 16 different sports are also represented across the three divisions.
A 15-time All-American and one of the most decorated female student-athletes in MIT history, Gong posted a perfect 5.0 GPA as an undergraduate at MIT and is pursuing her Master's degree at MIT in engineering with a concentration on artificial intelligence. Named as the CoSIDA Division III National Academic All-America of the Year for a second straight season, Gong was the recipient of the 2017 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Elite 90 award and is a former NCAA champion in the 3,000 meters.
In the fall of 2016, MIT swimmer Margaret Guo `16 (San Diego, Calif.) became the first MIT student-athlete to ever capture the NCAA Woman of the Year honor as she was recognized at the awards dinner in Indianapolis. In addition to becoming the first MIT winner, Guo was just the fourth Division III winner of the award, which is the most prestigious honor awarded annually to a female student-athlete by the NCAA.
In early September, the Woman of the Year selection committee will name the Top 30 honorees, which include 10 women from each division. At the end of September, the selection committee will select and announce nine finalists, with three from each division. The NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics will select the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year from those finalists.
The Top 30 honorees will be celebrated and the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year will be named at the annual banquet Oct. 22 in Indianapolis.
The NCAA Woman of the Year program has recognized graduating female student-athletes for excellence in academics, athletics, community service and leadership since its inception in 1991.