Nebraska’s Angela Mercurio Named Finalist For NCAA Woman of the Year Award
Husker track & field student is first finalist in a Big Ten-sponsored sport since 2014
ROSEMONT, Ill. — University of Nebraska track & field student Angela Mercurio has been selected as one of nine finalists for the 2019 NCAA Woman of the Year award, the Association announced Wednesday. Mercurio is the first Big Ten student in a conference-sponsored sport to be named an NCAA Woman of the Year finalist since 2014, when Northwestern softball student Marisa Bast was selected.
The nine NCAA Woman of the Year finalists, which include three from each of the three NCAA divisions, were chosen from a pool of 30 semifinalists for consideration to receive this year’s award. Mercurio was one of two students from Big Ten schools to make the Top 30 list this year, along with Wisconsin women’s ice hockey student Annie Pankowski, who was nominated by the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA), as the Big Ten does not sponsor the sport of women’s ice hockey.
The NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics will ultimately select the 2019 NCAA Woman of the Year recipient from these nine finalists, with the Top 30 honorees recognized and the award winner announced at a ceremony Oct. 20 at the Westin Hotel in Indianapolis.
The NCAA Woman of the Year award has been presented annually since 1991 and recognizes the nation’s top senior female student-athlete who has excelled in the award’s four pillars of academics, athletics, service and leadership. Nebraska volleyball standout Billie Winsett-Fletcher is the only student from a current Big Ten school to have been chosen as NCAA Woman of the Year, receiving the award in 1996.
A native of Kitchener, Ontario, Mercurio was a two-time Google Cloud Academic All-America Second Team selection, as well as a three-time Big Ten Distinguished Scholar, four-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree, five-time United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-Academic choice and three-time Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar Award selection. Earlier this year, she also was a recipient of both the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship and the Big Ten Postgraduate Scholarship. Earlier on Wednesday, she was honored as one of the first-ever Rose Bowl Game Keith Jackson Postgraduate Scholarship recipients.
Mercurio graduated from Nebraska in May with a 3.99 GPA as a double major in biochemistry and women’s & gender studies, culminating with a 300-hour research project about the effect of cellular kinases VRK1 and VRK2 on foreign DNA transfection and BAF localization.
Mercurio also served her school and community in numerous ways. She was a four-year team representative on the Nebraska Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and worked for three semesters as a teaching assistant in biochemistry and microbiology. In 2018, she interned at the YWCA, where she assisted in planning curriculum for science, technology, engineering and math programs for girls. Mercurio also volunteered abroad in India at a medical clinic in 2017, and at a local free medical clinic, the People’s City Mission, throughout the course of her time in Lincoln. In 2019, she received the Sam Foltz 27 Hero Leadership Award, presented to Nebraska students in recognition of academic achievement, mentoring and leadership.
Mercurio was a four-year letterwinner and two-time captain on the Nebraska track & field team and was a three-time USTFCCCA second-team All-American in the triple jump. She also earned the conference title in the event at the 2019 Big Ten Indoor Championships before going on to place ninth in the triple jump at the 2019 NCAA Indoor Championships. On the international stage, Mercurio has represented her native Canada at the 2015 Pan American Junior Athletics Championships and the 2017 World University Games.