Carmichael Named Woman of Year Top 30 Honoree

Andie Beene
By Andie Beene
Assistant Director of Communications

NORMAN — Jenny Carmichael’s list of accomplishments keeps growing.

After concluding her athletic career in spring 2017, the Oklahoma track and field standout has been named a Top 30 honoree for the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year Award, the NCAA announced Wednesday.

Schools nominated a record 543 student-athletes for the 2017 award, and conferences narrowed the group to 145 nominees in August.

The Top 30 honorees, chosen by the Woman of the Year selection committee, include 10 women from each of the three NCAA divisions and have demonstrated excellence in academics, athletics, community service and leadership.

“Getting selected as a Top 30 NCAA Woman of the Year Finalist is an incredible honor,” Carmichael said. “To be considered in the company of the women who have been in the top 30 in the past—such as Phylesha Whaley, Stacy Dales, Jenny Bramer and countless other pivotal women in collegiate athletics—I am truly humbled, honored and challenged. 

“This recognition both inspires me and compels me to use this opportunity to make a difference,” she continued. “It cannot stop here. It must not be about the award alone. Instead, this journey is about the lives I can touch and the future I can change for other women in athletics and beyond. Just as those before have done for me. I consider it my obligation, in the company of all the former greats, to pay it forward. And pay it forward, I will. One life at a time. 

“The NCAA Woman of the Year Award is not about recognition at the end of my athletics journey, but rather about the beginning of a new journey: the journey to empower other women to have the experiences I had, the support I received, and the ability to live out their own dreams,” Carmichael concluded. “Now, this is all about the next generation, and I cannot wait to play my own unique part in their stories. I'm ready to champion them and watch them rise.”

A native of Tulsa, Okla., Carmichael joined the Sooner program in 2013 as a discus thrower. She recorded a PR of 163-2.00 in the 2017 Big 12 Championship on her way to an eighth-place finish. She also competed in the Big 12 meet in 2013 and 2016 after redshirting in 2014.

She received her bachelor’s degree with summa cum laude distinction in engineering in 2016. She is currently working on a master of arts in global affairs through an OU online program, and she began working in Baton Rouge, La., as an engineer in July.

During the 2015-16 academic year, Carmichael was selected to serve as a member of the Homecoming Court. Nominated by OU’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, a group she was serving as president of at the time, she became the first female student-athlete to be named to the Homecoming Court as one of the finalists for homecoming queen.

Two weeks later, Carmichael was named Outstanding Senior Woman at OU, another first for a Sooner student-athlete.

Carmichael earned Academic All-Big 12 first team honors three times and was named a Dr. Gerald Lage Award winner, the highest academic honor the Big 12 gives. She received the 1A FAR Academic Excellence award in 2016. She received the Outstanding Senior Woman Award from the College of Engineering and was named to the PE-ET Top 10 Seniors, given to the top 10 seniors on the basis of service, scholarship and leadership. With that award, she became the first OU student-athlete to be selected as an Outstanding Freshman, Sophomore, Junior and PE-ET Top Ten Senior.

She was a finalist for the 2017 NCAA Byers’ Scholarship and was a 10-time honoree on the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll. She was named to the President’s Honor Roll (4.00 GPA) three times and to the Dean’s Honor Roll (3.50-3.99) five times as an undergraduate.

She received the inaugural OU Sooner Choice FAR Award, given to the student-athlete who best exemplifies exceptional character, true sportsmanship and strong perseverance; the Sooner Oath Award, given to one male and one female student athlete who best demonstrate the leadership, sportsmanship, strong moral character, and Sooner pride found within the Sooner Oath; and was a two-time recipient of the University of Oklahoma Athletics Council Service Award. She served with Sooners for Haiti and, through that program, has sponsored five children in Haiti. Through Compassion International, she has sponsored a child from Peru.

Her leadership activities included president of the OU SAAC in 2015-2016, secretary for OU SAAC in 2014-2015, vice president for OU SAAC in 2013-2014 and track and field liaison for OU SAAC in 2012-2013.

“The Top 30 honorees are remarkable representatives of the thousands of women competing in college sports each year,” Sarah Hebberd, chair of the Woman of the Year selection committee and director of compliance at Georgia, said in a release. “They have seized every opportunity available to them on the field of play, in the classroom and in the community, and we are proud to recognize them for their outstanding achievements.”

In late September, the selection committee will announce three women from each division as the nine finalists for the Woman of the Year award. From the finalists, the NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics will select the 2017 Woman of the Year, who will be named Oct. 22 at a ceremony in Indianapolis.