Gabrielle Shipley, a senior from Grand Valley State University, was named the women’s golf nominee for the Class of 2016 Division II Honda Athlete of the Year as announced by Chris Voelz, Executive Director of THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA) today.
She is now designated one of 11 finalists for the prestigious DIII Honda Athlete of the Year honor. This will be voted on at the end of the academic year by national balloting among 1,000 NCAA member schools as part of THE CWSA program, now in its 40th year.
“This is such an honor, it's amazing! I am so blessed, thankful, and overjoyed,” stated Shipley. “I have always been taught to work my hardest and to give everything my all and I really believe I did that this year. I am so happy that my college career was capped off with a National Championship. I wouldn't have wanted it any other way!”
Shipley recorded her best-ever collegiate round (69, -3) tying the GVSU individual round record en route to capturing the individual title at the 2016 NCAA DII Golf Championships. The senior All-American earned a one-stroke victory with a final birdie putt to become just the second Laker Golfer to ever win the individual national championship. Her first-place finish helped Grand Valley State tie for fourth place overall.
The senior from Hastings, Mich., was named to her fourth straight All-GLIAC first-team and is a two-time WGCA first-team All-American. She has tallied 89 birdies and two eagles this season on her way to four wins and three second place finishes with a 73.79 average on the season.
"What a tremendous honor for Gabrielle," said GVSU head coach Rebecca Mailloux. "She is a true testament to the saying, 'hard work pays off', both on and off the golf course. Her leadership and determination for success over the past four years is what lead her team to a fourth place finish and an individual National Championship this year. Her unwavering dedication to the game of golf will take her far in the next stage of her career. I am so proud of everything Gabby has achieved during her time here at Grand Valley and look forward to watching her success in the years to come."
All sports nominees from DII and DIII become a finalist for the prestigious 2016 Honda Collegiate Athlete of the Year in their respective divisions, and will be presented on a live telecast on June 27, 2016, in the Founders’ Room at the Galen Center on the campus of the University of Southern California in downtown Los, Angeles.
The sports nominees are recognized in 11 DII and DIII NCAA-sanctioned sports; cross country, basketball, field hockey, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, volleyball, and track & field.
The CWSA, celebrating its 40th year, has honored the nation’s top NCAA women athletes recognizing superior athletic skills, leadership, academic excellence and eagerness to participate in community service. Since commencing its sponsorship thirty years ago in 1986, Honda has provided more than $3.0 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women’s athletics programs at the institutions.