Winthrop senior tennis athlete Caitlin Cridland (Perth, Australia) is a finalist for the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year Award. She is among 544 nominees, including 24 from women’s tennis who are being considered for the honor.
Cridland wrapped up a stellar career this past spring by helping the Eagles capture their 19th Big South Conference championship and clinch an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships for a 15th time. She finished her senior year with a 15-8 singles record and a 19-6 doubles mark.
Cridland was selected to the All-Big South Singles First Team, the All-BSC Doubles Second Team, and was named to the Big South All-Academic Team after compiling a 3.56 grade point average while majoring in chemistry with a minor in biology.
The four pillars of the Woman of the Year award include academics, athletics, service and leadership. Cridland excelled in all four areas.
During her Winthrop career, Cridland served as team captain, a representative and co-vice president on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, a volunteer with numerous organizations including the Boys and Girls Club of York County, Toys for Happiness, the Bone Marrow Donor Registry, and a fundraiser for Alex’s Lemonade Stand for Pediatric Cancer Research.
In addition, she worked as a volunteer in the Winthrop Admissions Office, served as a receptionist in the Winthrop Chemistry Department, and was a student worker for Winthrop’s Aramark Catering Service.
“Traveling over 11,000 miles from Australia to pursue my dreams of being a college athlete has been the most challenging and rewarding experience of my life,” said Cridland. “I had no idea that I would graduate having the opportunity to contribute to cancer research, travel to the NCAA nationals and become involved in local and national cancer research foundations.”
She now intends to pursue a career in pharmaceutical and cancer research, and continue to mentor and encourage girls from Australia and around the world to pursue their dreams of becoming college athletes.