Story courtesy of Penn Athletic Communications
INDIANAPOLIS -- Penn track & field volunteer assistant coach Elizabeth Phillips was honored as the 2012 NCAA Woman of the Year on Sunday night in Indianapolis. Phillips is a 2012 graduate of Washington University in St. Louis. Alexi Pappas, who graduated from Dartmouth in 2012, was one of the nine finalists for the prestigious award.
This year's finalists were selected based on academic achievement, athletics excellence and dedication to community service and leadership. Three women from each NCAA division were chosen as finalists. The nine finalists were among the 30 Woman of the Year honorees who were recognized during the Oct. 14 event. The pool of 30 emerged from a group of nearly 430 nominees, and included 10 honorees from each NCAA division.
Phillips, who graduated in May with a degree in biomedical engineering and a 4.0 GPA, completed her career as one of the most decorated student-athletes in Washington U. history. She became the first-ever three-time NCAA Elite 88/89 Award winner in any NCAA division. In 2012, Phillips was named the Capital One Academic All-America of the Year Division III award winner for women's track & field/cross country, making her the first track & field/cross country Academic All-America of the Year winner in school history. She also earned first-team Academic All-America honors in 2011 and 2012.
A seven-time indoor and outdoor track & field All-American, Phillips helped Washington U. capture its first NCAA Division III National Championship in women's cross country in 2011.
During her final track & field season, Phillips earned All-America honors with a third-place finish in the mile and as a member of the national runner-up distance medley relay team at the 2012 NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field Championships. She then capped her stellar career by finishing sixth in the 1,500 to earn All-America honors at the 2012 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
Off the track, Phillips was an active volunteer, getting involved with the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), becoming the secretary and vice president of the Society of Women Engineers at Washington U., and coaching a group of elementary school girls through an organization called Girls on the Run.
In her first year on staff at Penn, Phillips is pursuing her doctorate in the School of Medicine.