Stacey Hagensen, who led Pacific Lutheran to the 2012 NCAA Division III softball championship, has been selected by the NCAA as one of 10 extraordinary student-athletes who will be honored in January as the Today's Top 10 Award winners.
Hagensen (Bellevue, Wash. / Newport HS), who graduated in May with a 3.92 grade point average while majoring in both economics and mathematics, is one of two Division III student-athletes to achieve this prestigious status. The other is Elizabeth Phillips, Washington University in St. Louis, indoor and outdoor track & field and cross country.
Information in the NCAA press release said the following about Hagensen: "Stacey Hagensen led the Pacific Lutheran softball team to the Division III national championship in 2012. As a pitcher for the Lutes, Hagensen was the Northwest Conference Woman of the Year and Pitcher of the Year for 2011-12. The two-time All-American also received the Most Outstanding Player award for her performance at the national championship. An Academic All-America first-team member, Hagensen was a member of the international economics honor society and received the Highest Graduating GPA Award from the Pacific Lutheran Economics Department. As a team captain and Student-Athlete Advisory Committee member, Hagensen played an active role as a leader on campus. She served as a math tutor, women's Bible-study leader and student-government bookkeeper during her time at Pacific Lutheran."
In addition to this list of top honors, Hagensen was named the Honda Sports Award Division III Player of the Year. The Honda Sports Award for Division III Athlete of the Year is presented annually to the top woman athlete chosen from 11 NCAA-sanctioned sports, with each selected from coaches' panels, All-America committees or finish at the respective national championship. Her selection by the Collegiate Women Sports Awards program recognized Hagensen as the top Division III female athlete during the 2011-12 sports year.
Hagensen was later selected as one of 30 finalists for NCAA Woman of the Year prior to being picked to the Today's Top 10 list.
"I thought that winning the (national) championship was like a fairy tale ending," Hagensen said. At the Honda Award ceremony, held in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of Title IX, "they had people there that had been part of the committee" that wrote the legislation. "To be recognized with that award on the anniversity of Title IX was very humbling," she said.
And now, with her selection to Today's Top 10, she ranks among a very outstanding and selective list of student-athletes from all NCAA divisions and numerous sports. "It's very humbling. I never would have expected this to happen showing up to PLU as a freshman. I was just going to go play some softball."
Others named to the NCAA's Today's Top 10 list are: Nick Amuchastegui: Stanford University, wrestling; Miles Batty, Brigham Young University, cross country, indoor and outdoor track & field; Ashley Brignac, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, softball; Micah Davis, Delta State University, football; Robert Griffin III, Baylor University, football; Lindsay Lettow, University of Central Missouri, indoor and outdoor track & field; Brooke Pancake, University of Alabama, golf; Wendy Trott, University of Georgia, swimming.
The NCAA Today's Top 10 Award recognizes student-athletes who completed their athletics eligibility during the 2011-12 academic year for their success on the fields and courts, in the classroom, and in the community. Award recipients will be recognized at the Honors Celebration on Jan. 18 during the NCAA Convention in Grapevine, Texas.
The NCAA Honors Committee selects the honorees. The committee is composed of athletics administrators at member institutions and nationally distinguished citizens who are former student-athletes.
Previously, the award recognized eight student-athletes and was known as Today's Top VIII. The NCAA Honors Committee expanded the award to honor 10 student-athletes to recognize the increased number of student-athletes, sports and championship opportunities.
(Portions of this release come from the NCAA.)
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