Explorer staff report
Lacey Nymeyer, the Mountain View High School graduate, former swimming student-athlete at the University of Arizona, and a silver medalist in the 400-meter freestyle relay at the 2008 Olympic Games, is the 2009 NCAA Woman of the Year.
Nymeyer accepted the award – "among the most prestigious the NCAA bestows," according to a release — during the 19th annual NCAA Woman of the Year event Sunday at the Indiana Convention Center. The award honors female student-athletes who have completed their eligibility, demonstrated academic and athletic excellence, and engaged in community service and leadership opportunities.
"Without the opportunities provided to me through my participation in college athletics, I doubt I would have such a clear sense of self-worth and purpose outside the skills of my sport," Nymeyer said in her personal statement on her nomination form.
A committee of representatives from NCAA schools and conferences selected nine finalists from a pool of 30 honorees. Those individuals were identified from an initial pool of 132 conference and independent honorees representing all three NCAA divisions and multiple sports.
The NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics selected Nymeyer as the national winner.
Nymeyer is the third student-athlete from the University of Arizona and sixth swimming student-athlete to be named NCAA Woman of the Year. She represents the Pac-10 Conference.
Nymeyer helped lead Arizona to the 2008 NCAA Division 1 women's swimming and diving team championship. She also captured a gold medal at the 2007 FINA world championships in the 800-meter freestyle relay. The two-time Pac-10 swimmer of the year and 26-time All-America also earned NCAA individual titles in the 100-yard and 200-yard freestyle.
Nymeyer, a physical education major, was a first-team all-Pac-10 pick and a four-time University of Arizona Academic Champion. The 2007-08 Toyo Tires Scholar-Athlete of the Year, Nymeyer was recognized as the State Farm Pride of the Pac-10 medal winner.
Away from the pool, Nymeyer visited Haven House for Women and Casa De Los Niños house for children as part of team service projects. In addition to teaching swimming lessons to 5- through 9-year-olds and serving as a student teacher, she has been a featured speaker at middle schools and youth sports banquets.