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Sherwood graduate nominated for NCAA Woman of the Year

by Judith Hruz


Sherwood High School graduate Grace McDonald is a nominee for NCAA Woman of the Year.

A standout cross country/track student-athlete at the University of Dayton, McDonald joins Dayton women’s basketball player Jenna Burdette as one of two candidates from the university who were nominated for the honor.

All 30 Woman of the Year nominees will be recognized and the 2018 Woman of the Year will be announced at an awards dinner at the Westin Indianapolis on Oct. 28.

The NCAA Woman of the Year program honors the academic achievements, athletics excellence, community service and leadership of graduating female college athletes from all three divisions.

To be eligible, a nominee must have competed and earned a varsity letter in an NCAA-sponsored sport, must have completed eligibility in her primary sport and must have earned her undergraduate degree by summer 2018.

McDonald graduated with a degree in accounting and is currently enrolled in the University of Dayton Masters of Business Administration program while working full-time at Dayton.

She joined the staff of Jason Ordway, director of track & field/cross country, as the director of operations. Her role will include travel logistics, nutrition and scheduling.

“She is an incredibly talented individual that understands our vision for the program and how we operate on a day-to-day basis,” Ordway says in a press release. “Grace was a vital asset during my transitional first year and I’m pleased to have the opportunity to add her to our staff.”

McDonald, a native of Olney, joins the staff after a tremendous four-year career on the Flyer women’s cross country and track and field teams, the university reports.

“I’m incredibly grateful and excited to be a part of the team here. I loved my four years with the program and am excited to start another chapter in a different role,” McDonald says in a press release. “I know this will be a great opportunity to grow and give back to athletics and I’m thankful to everyone who made this possible.”

McDonald was part of the 2017 women’s cross country team that won the Atlantic 10 Championship. She was a 2016 Atlantic 10 all-conference honoree in outdoor track. She is ranked No. 2 all-time at Dayton in the indoor 800-meter and 1,000-meter runs and the outdoor 800-meter run.

Outside of athletics, McDonald was active in the business fraternity Delta Sigma Pi, was a mentor in the Office of Multicultural Affairs PEERS program and was a mentee in the Alumni Mentoring Program.

She is the daughter of Dorothy and Junior McDonald.

A 2014 graduate of Sherwood, she set school records in the 4-by-400-meter relay, the 4-by-800-memter relay, and the 800-meter and 1,500-meter.

Among her other honors, she was regional champion in the 800-meter in 2011; won cross country MVP honors in 2011, the Sportsmanship Award in 2013 and the Minds in Motion Student Athlete Award five times; and qualified for state meets in each season.

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