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Honors roll in before Olympics

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By The Staff

Former University of New Mexico cross country and track & field standout Courtney Frerichs claimed a pair of Mountain West awards on Wednesday as the conference named her Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year and Female Athlete of the Year.
Frerichs, a native of Nixa, Missouri, had a stellar 2015-16 campaign in cross country and track & field for the Lobos, guiding the UNM women’s cross country team to its first national title last November before winning the NCAA title in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in record time in June.
She also shined in the classroom, compiling a 4.16 GPA and MW Academic All-Conference and MW Scholar-Athlete honors as she pursued a master’s degree in community health organization.
While at UNM, Frerichs ran to two national titles in one year, winning a team title and an individual title as a Lobo.
She helped the UNM women’s cross country to its first national title in November, taking fourth place overall as the highest finisher in program history.
After sitting out the indoor season, Frerichs continued to shine outdoors, twice running under 9:30 in the steeplechase before capping her collegiate career by setting the NCAA record at the NCAA Championships.
Her title in the event was the first by a women’s track & field athlete in program history and powered the women to their best-ever finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
She was also named the program’s first semifinalist for the Women’s Bowerman Award, the highest individual honor in collegiate track & field.
Frerichs continued to shine after exhausting her collegiate eligibility, earning a berth on the U.S. Olympic Team in the steeplechase after running a personal-record time of 9:20.92 at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials earlier in July.
Her personal record ranks fourth in United States history.
Frerichs continued to amass honors as the NCAA announced the conference selections for NCAA Woman of the Year.
Frerichs was the Mountain West’s selection for Woman of the Year, a program that honors the academic achievements, athletics excellence, community service and leadership of graduating female college athletes from all three NCAA divisions.
This marks the 26th year of the Woman of the Year Award program, which was established in 1991. The four pillars of the Woman of the Year award: academics, athletics, service and leadership.
In early September, the Woman of the Year selection committee will name the Top 30 honorees, representing the top 10 women in each division. The selection committee will then choose and announce the nine finalists, with three from each division, at the end of September. Then, from the pool of nine finalists, the NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics will determine the 2016 Woman of the Year.