Melanie Winters, a senior from Baldwin Wallace University, was named the track & field nominee for the Class of 2016 Division III Honda Athlete of the Year as announced by Executive Director Chris Voelz of THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA) presented by Honda.
She is now 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.
“Being able to compete at the collegiate level is an honor in itself; all the support, recognition and success that I've received throughout my four years as a student-athlete is beyond anything I thought attainable and I'm very appreciative of all the opportunities,” said Winters. “Receiving the Honda DIII Athlete of the Year nomination for track is an amazing honor because I have met and competed against many talented athletes in track and field throughout the nation who I know are equally deserving of such recognition. In addition, being able to represent the sport I've loved and played for the past thirteen years is a pinnacle in my student-athlete career.”
Winters was the highest point-scorer at the 2016 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championship of either gender and captured two national titles in the 100-meter hurdles and the 200-meter dash at the meet. She won the 100-meter hurdles with the sixth fastest time in NCAA Division III history of 13.78 second. The time was also the BW-record and Walston-Hoover Stadium record time. Winters won the 200-meter dash in a time of 24.67 seconds to earn her eighth career outdoor All-American accolade.
Overall, Winters ends the most celebrated career of any Yellow Jacket female student-athlete with three national titles (indoor champion in the long jump) and 13 total (indoors and outdoors) Division III All-America awards. In addition to her excellence on the track, Winters carries a 3.5 grade average in English and is one of four Yellow Jackets who appear on the 2016 CoSIDA Division III Academic All-America national ballot.
"Melanie is the constant perfectionist,” stated head coach Matthew Cole. “She is a student-athlete who is never satisfied with being average, which is a direct result of why she has been so successful at Baldwin Wallace University.”
All sports nominees from DIII and DII 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 DIII and DII 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.