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Taylor Allen nominated for NCAA Woman of the Year

Taylor Allen nominated for NCAA Woman of the Year
Taylor Allen, a 2017 University of North Georgia graduate, is one of the 543 female college athletes from across the nation nominated for the NCAA Woman of the Year.

University of North Georgia (UNG) graduate Taylor Allen hit a personal goal, tied a school record and won a tournament during her career with the UNG golf team.

Because of that success, coupled with her academic prowess and service-oriented attitude, Allen has been nominated for the NCAA Woman of the Year.

This is the second year in a row a UNG student has been nominated. UNG alumna and current women's golf graduate assistant coach Shannon Coulombe was a NCAA Woman of the Year finalist in 2016 and reached the second round of the selection process.

"I have seen some of the past nominees and have seen what they have done in academics and athletics and in the community," Allen said. "So to see that I am up there with them, I feel incredibly honored."

The 2017 UNG grad is one of the 543 female college athletes from across the nation nominated for the award, which was established in 1991. The NCAA Woman of the Year award honors graduating female college athletes who have completed their eligibility and distinguished themselves in academics, athletics, service, and leadership throughout their collegiate careers.

Allen graduated in May with a perfect 4.0 GPA. The Lawrenceville, Georgia, native is only the second Peach Belt Conference student-athlete to win the league's Elite 15 Academic Award three times. She also was named a PBC All-Academic, a Presidential Honor Roll Gold Scholar and a Women's Golf Coaches Association All-American Scholar in each of her four years on campus.

"Taylor excels at everything she does through hard work, determination, dedication, and intelligence," said Leigh Anne Hunter, head coach for the women's golf team at UNG. "Her ability to manage her time and multitask is unlike anyone I’ve known."

Allen also has been a consistent competitor on the golf course throughout her four-year career; she played in 10 of 11 events for UNG with 21 competitive rounds. She finished in a tie for 18th at the Columbus State Lady Cougar Classic and shot a season-low round of 74 to open the Armstrong Pirate Women's Invitational. In March 2016, she was named Peach Belt Conference Golfer of the Week.

"I think I have helped propel the golf team and helped it get better each year," Allen said.

UNG Associate Athletic Director Lee Glenn agreed.

"Taylor is a model student-athlete, as she stands for all that is good with college athletics: competitiveness, compassion, dedication, and humility," he said. "It was North Georgia's honor to have Taylor represent the Nighthawk Nation on the golf course, in the classroom and in the public eye."

Allen now will wait to see if she moves onto the next round for the NCAA Woman of the Year award.

The NCAA encourages member schools to honor their top graduating female student-athletes each year. The nominees represent all three NCAA divisions, with 229 from Division I, 117 from Division II and 197 from Division III. The nominees competed in 21 different women's sports, and 122 were multisport athletes.

"The nomination was the first round," Allen said. "The next round is where the Peach Belt Conference will select a nominee to represent the conference."

 Two nominees can be selected from each conference.

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. From there, the selection committee determines the top three honorees from each division and announces the nine finalists in September. The NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics then chooses the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year from those nine.

The top 30 honorees will be recognized and the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year will be announced at the annual award ceremony Oct. 22 in Indianapolis

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