ELON, N.C. – Former Elon University women’s track and field standout Bryanna Hames was honored as a nominee for the 2018 NCAA Woman of the Year award as announced on Thursday, July 12.
Hames is one of 581 athletes nominated for the award overall and one out of 251 Division I nominees. She is also one of 117 student-athletes from indoor and outdoor track and field nominated for the award.
One of the most prestigious NCAA awards, the NCAA established the Woman of the Year Award in 1991 to celebrate the achievements of women in intercollegiate athletics. Now in its 28th year, the NCAA Woman of the Year award honors graduating female college athletes who have exhausted their eligibility and distinguished themselves in academics, athletics, service and leadership throughout their collegiate careers.
“I am beyond humbled and feel so unbelievably blessed and grateful to be nominated for NCAA Woman of the Year,” said Hames. “This wouldn’t be possible without my Elon family, so thank you to my teammates, mentors, advisors, athletics directors and coaches for the support and nomination. I am so grateful and just really excited about the honor.”
During her career with the Phoenix, Hames cemented herself as one of the all-time standout athletes in program history. The Charlotte, N.C., native wrapped up her career at the top of the Phoenix’s performance list in nearly every indoor and outdoor throwing category, holding the school records in the indoor and outdoor shot put, the weight throw and the discus. She also helped the maroon and gold to a pair of Colonial Athletic Association outdoor track and field titles in 2015 and 2016, the first team conference championships in the program’s history.
“This is a tremendous honor for Bryanna and Elon,” said Elon Director of Track and Field/Cross Country Mark Elliston. “Bryanna has always represented this program and university at the highest standard on and off the track and this recognition reaffirms that.”
Hames was a two-time CAA event champion in the discus while also being a four-time All-CAA performer in the discus and three times in the shot put. She also qualified for the NCAA East Preliminary round three times in the discus and became the first athlete from Elon to qualify in multiple events at the preliminary round this past spring in the discus and shot put.
During her junior season in 2017, Hames became the first athlete in school history to qualify and compete at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the discus. She would go on to collect honorable mention All-American accolades in the event. She was later named the 2018 Elon Athletics’ Stein H. Basnight Outstanding Athlete of the Year on the women’s side, honoring the most outstanding Phoenix female athlete of the year.
Hames was also active outside of competition, as she was one of the creators and leaders for Elon’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) and a member of Elon’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). Academically, she was named All-Academic by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) in 2017 and has been a member of the Elon dean’s and president’s list as well as the CAA Commissioner’s Academic Award. She graduated from Elon this spring with a degree in marketing and strategic communications.
Eligible female student-athletes are nominated by their member school. Each conference office then reviews the nominations from its core member schools (and sponsored sports) and submits its conference nominee(s) to the NCAA. Then, the NCAA Woman of the Year selection committee identifies the Top 30 – 10 from each division – and from there selects three finalists from each division. The Committee on Women’s Athletics then selects the winner from the nine finalists.