The Top 30 honorees for the 2018 NCAA Woman of the Year Award were announced on Thursday and recent Lake Forest College graduate Kayla Griffith was among those listed.
Selected from a record 581 school nominees — a group that was then narrowed to 154 nominees by conference offices — the Top 30 honorees include 10 from each of the three NCAA divisions. All have demonstrated excellence in academics, athletics, community service and leadership. The honorees competed in 13 sports and studied a broad range of academic majors, including finance, biochemistry, microbiology, kinesiology, nursing and communication.
"These 30 women have demonstrated outstanding commitment to excelling in the classroom and in their sports while also serving their peers and communities," said Sherika Montgomery, chair of the Woman of the Year selection committee and associate commissioner for governance and compliance at The Summit League. "They represent the best and brightest of women competing in college and sports, and we're thrilled to celebrate them and their achievements."
The selection committee will announce the nine finalists, including three women from each NCAA division, in early October. From those finalists, the NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics will select the 2018 NCAA Woman of the Year. The Top 30 will be celebrated and the Woman of the Year will be named October 28 at a ceremony in Indianapolis.
Griffith completed her four years as a Forester ranked fourth in team history with 55 career assists and tied-for-seventh with 83 points. She played in each of the team's games and helped lead Lake Forest to a 75-28-7 overall record and 55-13-4 mark in Northern Collegiate Hockey Association play. The victory total is the highest of any four-year span in program history and the team advanced to the NCHA Slaats Cup Final three times ann advanced to the NCAA Division III Tournament in 2015. Griffith is a four-time All-NCHA selection and was named All-American after each of her final three seasons.
Griffith was also extremely successful in the classroom, graduating magna cum laude with a 3.83 cumulative grade point average. The biology major was a three-time NCHA All-Academic Team member and was named to the Dean's list all four years. She was also a member of the Forester Academic Team for earning the highest GPA in her sport.
While Griffith is one of five Foresters in the last six years to be selected to the conference round, she is the first to be named a Top 30 honoree.