Case Western Reserve University graduate student Cassandra Laios of the indoor and outdoor track and field teams has been selected as the school's nominee for the 2019 NCAA Division III Woman of the Year Award.
Rooted in Title IX and directed by the NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics, the NCAA Woman of the Year program celebrates the accomplishments of female college athletes across all three NCAA divisions. For 29 years, this program has honored the academic achievements, athletics excellence, community service and leadership of outstanding female college athletes.
Laios recently completed a stellar career at Case Western Reserve. She joined elite company this past spring by the winning the 2019 NCAA Division III Women's Outdoor Track and Field Hammer Throw Championship, becoming the 15th NCAA Champion in the 48-year history of CWRU Spartans athletics, and the first since former Spartan men's tennis players Eric Klawitter and C.J. Krimbill claimed the 2014 NCAA Doubles Championship.
Competing her final collegiate event of her career, Laios finished first in the Hammer Throw with a new school-record toss of 56.34 meters. In addition to her national title in the hammer throw, Laios earned an All-American honor in the discus on the first day of the outdoor championships as she hit a mark of 44.41 meters to place seventh in the event. During the indoor season, Laios earned her first-career All-American honor as she placed fourth in the weight throw with a toss of 17.98 meters at the 2019 NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships.
Laios was also selected as the USTFCCCA Great Lakes Region Field Athlete of the Year, and has been named the UAA Most Outstanding Performer in Field Events four times over her career, including both the indoor and outdoor campaigns in 2019.
Academically, Laios has recorded 3.87 undergraduate GPA and a 3.80 graduate GPA as an electrical engineering major. She was named to the Google Cloud Academic All-America First Team for the first time in her career earlier in the week, and is a multiple-time UAA All-Academic honoree.
School nominees are sent to the conference offices to select their conference nominees for NCAA Woman of the Year. Each conference nominee will be notified by the NCAA, and all conference-round nominees will be announced on ncaa.org in early August.
Conference nominations are forwarded to the NCAA Woman of the Year Selection Committee, which identifies the top 10 honorees in each of the three NCAA divisions. From those 30 candidates, the selection committee then determines the three finalists in each division for a total of nine finalists.
The Committee on Women's Athletics will select the 2019 NCAA Woman of the Year from the nine finalists. The 2019 NCAA Woman of the Year will be announced Sunday, Oct. 20, at an awards dinner in Indianapolis.