Miami’s Ellis, NC State’s King lead ACC’s Woman of the Year nominees

accThe ACC has nominated All-Americans Brittny Ellis (Miami track & field) and Tziarra King (NC State soccer) for the 2020 NCAA Woman of the Year Award.

The NCAA Woman of the Year Award was established in 1991 to recognize graduating female student-athletes who have exhausted their eligibility and distinguished themselves in academics, athletics, service and leadership throughout their collegiate careers.

A record 605 student-athletes were nominated for this year’s award.

Ellis will depart Miami as one of the most successful student-athletes in school history. A stellar runner in the 400 meters, she finished her career with three ACC Indoor Championship gold medals. She added five total silver medals – two in indoor competition and three in outdoor – and was a member of four ACC championship teams.

The Gurnee, Illinois, native is a two-time USTFCCCA All-America second-team selection and twice earned USTFCCCA Honorable Mention All-America honors. Ellis left her mark in the UM record books with the fourth-fastest 400m indoor time in school history and ran on two 4×400 relay teams that rank among the top five. She added the fourth-fastest time in the outdoor 400m and is part of Miami’s second-fastest time ever in the 4×400 relay.

Ellis’ success story extends beyond the track and includes several academic honors. She is a five-time All-ACC Academic Team member and a two-time USTFCCCA All-Academic team honoree. Ellis has been inducted into Miami’s highest honor society, Iron Arrow, and is a member of the Omicron Delta Kappa Fraternity.

A 2020 NCAA Post Graduate Scholarship recipient, Ellis graduated with her bachelor’s degree in nursing and is pursuing her master’s degree in health informatics.

King concluded her standout career by becoming the NC State women soccer program’s first ACC Scholar-Athlete of the Year award winner and two-time Academic All-America honoree, as well as its first All-American in 24 years. She became the second player in program history to earn All-ACC honors and third in history to collect All-ACC Academic Team honors in each of her four years with the Wolfpack.

In January 2020, King became NC State’s first player ever selected in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) Draft, as she was the eighth-overall pick to Utah Royals FC.

In addition to her athletic and academic achievements, King donated nearly 240 hours of her time to the local community through various activities. The Sicklerville, New Jersey, native’s biggest involvement centered around the Avent West Children’s Mentoring Program, where she spent four hours a week for three semesters. She also devoted time to food banks and drives, and has served as a classroom volunteer and reader on multiple occasions.

Ellis and King emerged as the ACC’s 2020 NCAA Woman of the Year candidates following a vote of the league’s 15 member schools. The strong list of nominees from member institutions also included Boston College’s Emma Guy (basketball), Duke’s Meible Chi (tennis) and Alyssa Marsh (swimming & diving), Florida State’s Molly Carlson (swimming & diving) and Shanice Love (track & field), Georgia Tech’s Jeanine Williams (track & field), Miami’s Kristina Fisher (soccer), North Carolina’s Jacqueline Litynski (fencing), Pitt’s Stephanie Williams (volleyball) and Taylor Middleton (track & field), NC State’s Mackenzie Glover (swimming & diving), Syracuse’s Lila Nazarian (lacrosse), Virginia’s Zoe Morse (soccer) and Jocelyn Willoughby (basketball) and Virginia Tech’s Rachel Pocratsky (track & field/cross country).

The 2020 NCAA Woman of the Year nominees represent all three NCAA divisions, including 259 nominees from Division I, 126 from Division II and 220 from Division III. Nominees competed in 24 sports, with multisport student-athletes accounting for 128 of the nominees.

From the group of conference nominees, the top 10 will be chosen from each NCAA division in September. The selection committee then will determine the top three honorees from each division from the Top 30 and announce the nine finalists. From those nine finalists, the NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics then will choose the 2020 NCAA Woman of the Year, which will be announced this fall.

ACC member institutions claim three past NCAA Women of the Year honorees. Former Notre Dame soccer standout Elizabeth Tucker was named the 2014 NCAA Woman of the Year. Wake Forest’s Annie Bersagel (cross county/track &field) was recognized in 2006, and Virginia’s Peggy Boutilier (field hockey/lacrosse) received the honor in 1998.

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