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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Two Aggies nominated for NCAA Woman of the Year

Aside+from+the+two+Aggies%2C+there+are+an+additional+533+female+student-athletes+included+on+the+list+from+a+range+of+24+sports+across+all+three+NCAA+divisions.
Via Keith Srakocic/Associated Press

Aside from the two Aggies, there are an additional 533 female student-athletes included on the list from a range of 24 sports across all three NCAA divisions.

Two Texas A&M athletes have been nominated for the 2021 NCAA Woman of the Year award.
The award honors the academic achievements, athletics excellence, community service and leadership of graduating female college athletes from all three divisions. Rachel Bernardo and Ciera Johnson were the two Aggies named to the nominee list.
For the most recent season, Bernardo was a redshirt junior on the cross country roster, while Johnson was a senior center on the women’s basketball team.
Johnson was also named the 2021 SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year and helped lead the maroon and white, as team captain, to the Sweet 16 in the 2021 NCAA Tournament. This past season, she started in all 28 games and is now fourth on the program’s career list for double doubles with 21.
She concluded her career as a member of the 1,000 point club while also graduating with two degrees, one of which was a master’s in human resource development.
Outside of the field of competition, Johnson founded and served as the inaugural vice president of The B.L.U.E.print, an organization led by student-athletes to provide leadership opportunities and a sense of community while also empowering Black individuals to use their voice.
“Being nominated for NCAA Woman of Year feels unreal,” Johnson said. “I’m extremely blessed to have been given the opportunity to grow as a person and as an athlete.”
Bernardo is a College Station native and served as a member of “The Twelve,” a group of team captains selected by the cross country and track and field coaching staff, during her junior and senior seasons.
Additionally, she has volunteered her time with four non-profit organizations and was awarded the Southeastern Conference Brad Davis Community Service Award in 2021. Bernardo was also on the SEC Honor Roll on four separate occasions.
On the statsheet, Bernardo concluded her career with two all-time top-12 performer marks in the outdoor 3,000-meter steeplechase and in the indoor mile. This past spring she was also named the Texas A&M Athletics Distinguished Letterman’s Award winner, the highest award presented to a student-athlete once a year who displays extraordinary talents in the areas of athletics, scholarship, leadership and service.
“To be nominated for this award is an incredible way to cap off my career as a Texas A&M student-athlete,” Bernardo said. “It’s an honor to be nominated for such a prestigious award, and it encapsulates all that I’ve accomplished during my time as an Aggie. A big thank you to our Student-Athlete Engagement staff, as well as the rest of Texas A&M Athletics’ staff for investing in me both in and outside of sports.”
Former Kentucky swimmer Asia Seidt was the 2020 winner of the accolade.
There are a total of 535 female student-athletes included on the list from a range of 24 sports across all three NCAA divisions. Aside from Bernardo and Johnson, there are an additional 249 nominees from Division I.
Next in the process of determining the NCAA Woman of the Year, conference offices will select their nominees for the award, unveiling those conference-round selections on ncaa.org in August. The NCAA Woman of the Year Selection Committee will then identify the top-10 honorees from each of the three NCAA divisions, before naming the 2021 NCAA Woman of the Year at an award ceremony on Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021 in Indiana.

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