INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.- The NCAA on Tuesday announced its nominees for the Woman of the Year Award. Former field hockey standout and recent graduate Sarah Bilheimer (Bethlehem, Pa./Freedom) is one of a record 517 student-athlete nominations. It is the largest number in the 26-year history of the award.
Of the nominees for the national award, 231 competed in Division I, 117 competed in Division II and 169 competed in Division III athletics. The nominees also represent 21 different women's sports and 127 of the nominees competed in more than one sport in college.
The NCAA Woman of the Year award honors graduating female college athletes who have exhausted their eligibility and distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in academics, athletics, service and leadership. This is the third straight year that an Eagle field hockey player has been nominated following Emma Dahmaus (2014) and Tori Buser (2015).
Bilheimer graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and a secondary emphasis in Art History. She has been named to the Landmark Honor Roll for the last three years along with being a member of the National Field Hockey Coaches Association National Academic Squad. She was a Dean's List Honoree in 2013, 2014 and 2015, inducted into the Tau Phi Society, and was a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success in 2014 and 2015.
Bilheimer was named a Landmark Senior Scholar-Athlete last December. At the second annual Juniata Athletics Alfies ceremony on May 3, she was presented with the Charles Bargerstock award, which is given to the senior female athlete who has made the greatest contribution to Juniata Athletics. She was also named to the COSIDA Academic All-District First Team.
On the field, Bilheimer scored 21 goals, assisted on 10 scores, and totaled 52 points to lead the Landmark in both goals and points and was second in assists. She was named the conference's Offensive Player of the Year. Bilheimer was also selected to the ECAC Mid-Atlantic Second Team, the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) All-Region First Team and named a Second Team All-American by both the NFHCA and Synapse Sports.
Bilheimer was the only nominee from the Landmark Conference. The Woman of the Year selection committee, made up of representatives from the NCAA membership, will choose the top 30 honorees - 10 from each division.
From the top 30, the selection committee determines the top three honorees from each division and announces the nine finalists in September. The NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics then chooses from among those nine to determine the 2016 NCAA Woman of the Year. The top 30 honorees will be celebrated and the 2016 NCAA Woman of the Year winner will be announced at the annual award ceremony Oct. 16 in Indianapolis.