GORHAM, Maine – University of Southern Maine Huskies' softball standout Mary Caron (Lewiston, Maine/St. Dominic's Academy) has been named the 2017 Little East Conference (LEC) Woman of the Year. As the LEC's representative, Caron will represent the Little East as its nominee for the NCAA National Woman of the Year honor. As one of 145 student-athletes selected to represent their institution's athletic conference, Caron was one of a record 543 nominees from across the NCAA's three divisions.
Established in 1991 and now in its 27th year, the NCAA Woman of the Year award honors graduating female college athletes who have exhausted their eligibility and distinguished themselves in academics, athletics, service and leadership throughout their collegiate careers. Eligible student-athletes are nominated by their member institution, and then reviewed by their respective conference office. The conference office the makes its selection for its representative. The Woman of the Year selection committee, made up of representatives from the NCAA membership, will then choose the top 30 honorees (10 from each division). From the final 30, the selection committee will announce its nine finalists in September, with the final selection for each Division's Woman of the Year being made in late October
Caron is one of 53 NCAA Division III women who were selected by their conference out of 198 Division III institutional nominees. Among a pool of talented and accomplished student-athletes, 58 institutional representatives are from the Division I ranks, and 34 are from Division II conferences. The median grade point average for the 145 institutional representatives is 3.88.
"One of USM's and the nation's best and brightest, Mary is quite simply one of the finest student-athletes to compete in a Huskies' uniform," said USM Director of Athletics Al Bean. "She is exceptional in every way and has been an outstanding representative for the University of Southern Maine and the Little East Conference. READ MORE