PALATINE HILL -- Frances Swanson's senior year as a Lewis & Clark student-athlete was filled with numerous accolades, and earlier this month, she added another after Swanson was selected as Lewis & Clark's nominee for the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year award.
Swanson, who graduated in May with a degree in Environmental Studies, competed for the Lewis & Clark women's cross country and track and field teams. Last season, she earned NCAA Division III Cross Country All-West Region honors and finished 24th at the NCAA West Regional. During the spring, Swanson set a new school record in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and won the event at the Northwest Conference Championships.
"Franny has achieved so much during her time as a Lewis & Clark student-athlete," said Associate Director of Physical Education & Athletics/SWA Sharon Sexton. "While she had an amazing career and showed great leadership as a member of both the cross country and track & field teams, she also left an indelible mark on the Lewis & Clark community through her passion and action in the areas of social and environmental justice. Franny embodies everything that we would look for in a student-athlete and was a natural selection to represent Lewis & Clark as our nominee."
Along with her teammate Kori Groenveld, Swanson led a project to install solar panels on the roof of a downtown Portland building that provides homes for the formerly houseless, which resulted in repurposed funds for the organization that manages the building.
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. The program, now in its 27th year, received nominations for a record 543 female student-athletes. A total of 197 nominees came from Division III. Swanson is among the 122 across all classifications that competed in multiple sports.
Eight were nominated from the Northwest Conference, up to two of whom can be selected as conference nominees for the national award. 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. Nine finalists will be announced in September with the winner named in October.
Last April, Swanson won the Mary Hunter Female Multi-Sport Athlete of the Year and the Judy McMullen Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year at the 2017 ELCYS, Excellence in Lewis & Clark's Year of Sports. She also earned a spot on the Fall 2016 Dean's List.
Swanson is a native of San Rafael, Calif. where she attended Marin Academy.
Swanson following the 2017 ELCYS