Coast Guard Academy senior Sarah Jane Otey has been selected as the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference recipient of the NCAA Woman of the Year award.
Otey, a three-time All-NEMWAC rower, is now eligible for the national Woman of the Year award and will be considered, along with honorees from other conferences, for selection as one of the top candidates from each of the NCAA's three divisions.
Otey is an accomplished rower and swimmer, helping to lead the Coast Guard crew team to a spot in the NCAA championship in 2008 and 2012 and qualifying for the NCAA swimming & diving championship five times.
She is also an outstanding student, carrying a 3.97 GPA in marine and environmental science, earning six NEWMAC Academic All-Conference distinctions and receiving the George C. Alexander award at Coast Guard for "highest proficiency in physical chemistry, analytical chemistry and toxicology."
She was also an accomplished leader at CGA. In 2009-10, she stepped away from her classmates and teammates and spent a year doing humanitarian work in Peru. Otey worked at a local clinic, tutored children in English and helped build clean-burning stoves for rural families.
"Leaving my sports teams and classmates behind for a year was the most difficult thing I've ever done, but the experience changed me in a fundamental way," Otey said. "I left thinking I'd help the families in the clinic and teach the kids in the schools, but ultimately, I was helped and taught by them."
The NCAA Woman of the Year Award honors graduating student-athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in the areas of academic achievement, athletics excellence, community service and leadership.
A selection committee will choose the top 10 honorees in each division. From among those 30 candidates, the selection committee will determine the top three in each division. Finally, the members of the Committee on Women's Athletics will vote from among the top nine finalists to determine the 2012 NCAA Woman of the Year, which will be announced during its awards dinner in Indianapolis on Oct. 14.
- Day Staff Reports