Sept. 12, 2003
LAS VEGAS - Former UNLV cross country and track and field standout Jessica Zarndt has been selected as the NCAA's Woman of the Year for the state of Nevada, the NCAA announced on Friday.
As the state winner, Zarndt is one of 50 honorees and becomes eligible for the organization's Woman of the Year award.
Zarndt, a native of Las Vegas and a graduate of Cheyenne High School, became only the third Rebel in school history to qualify for the NCAA Cross Country Championships in 2002. She went on to place 141st at the national meet with a career-best time of 21:34.60. She also made a career-best seventh-place finish at last season's Mountain West Conference Cross Country Championships, in which she was the only non-BYU runner to garner first-team all-conference honors.
Zarndt, who was named to the 2003 Verizon Academic All-District VIII Second Team, was also a 2003 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship Finalist and an academic all-conference honoree. She served terms as president of UNLV's Student-Athlete Advisory Board (SAAB) and as campus senate president pro-tempore. She posted an impressive 3.75 grade point average in kinesiology.
A selection committee chooses the state winners who represent each state and the District of Columbia at a meeting in August. That same committee chooses 10 finalists from among the field of state winners. The Committee on Women's Athletics then chooses the Woman of the Year from among the top 10. The top 10 will be announced on Sept. 26.
The Woman of the Year award will be announced during an awards dinner at the Indianapolis Downtown Marriott in Indianapolis, Ind., on Saturday, November 1.
The NCAA Woman of the Year award honors female student-athletes who have excelled in academics, athletics and in community service. More than 340 student-athletes, who have exhausted their collegiate athletics eligibility, are nominated by their colleges and universities each year for this honor.