Stefanie Parsons Selected as MWC Nominee for NCAA Woman of the Year
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – After a spring season that culminated in All-America honors at the 2022 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, former New Mexico cross country and track and field runner Stefanie Parsons has been selected as a Mountain West nominee for the 2023 NCAA Woman of the Year Award, the league announced Wednesday.
Parsons is one of two female student-athletes representing the conference as nominees along with Boise State softball player Serena Huchingson. Last season, UNM athletes Andrea Howard (Softball) and Yue Lin “Polly” Chen (Golf) were both selected as nominees, with Howard eventually chosen as the conference’s final nominee. Parsons is the first Lobo XC/TF athlete to be selected since Courtney Frerichs in 2016.
Since its establishment in 1991, the NCAA Woman of the Year program has recognized excellence in academics, athletics, community service, and leadership in graduating female student-athletes. To be eligible, a nominee must have competed and earned a varsity letter in an NCAA-sponsored sport and must have earned her undergraduate degree by the summer of 2023.
A native of Acton, Ontario, Canada, Parsons spent the final two years of her collegiate career at New Mexico after beginning her career at Edinboro University. In her two years as a Lobo, Parsons earned first-team All-America honors in cross country in 2021 with a 36th-place finish at the NCAA Championships and earned second-team All-America honors in the 1,500-meter run in 2022 with her 14th-place at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. In her final season of collegiate competition, Parsons won the mile at the Mountain West Indoor Track and Field Championships and won the 1,500m at the Mountain West Outdoor Track and Field Championships in a meet-record time of 4:17.17. She was a four-time MW Athlete of the Week in her career and helped the Lobos to the Mountain West cross country title and a third-place NCAA finish in 2021, finishing 36th as an individual.
Over those two seasons in Albuquerque, Parson came away with three All-American honors and four All-MWC honors.
Parsons was a five-time All-American at Edinboro and was a four-time Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Female Track Athlete of the Year and three-time PSAC Freshman of the Year. She won 13 PSAC event titles between cross country and track and field in her career and helped Edinboro to three PSAC team cross country titles. She was a three-time Atlantic Region Athlete of the Year.
In the classroom, Parsons earned second-team Academic All-America honors from the College Sports Communicators (formerly CoSIDA) in 2023 and was named an All-Academic Athlete by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association for track and field in 2022 and cross country in 2021. She was a two-time Mountain West Scholar-Athlete and member of the MW Academic All-Conference team, as well as CSC second-team Academic All-American in 2020 and a five-time USTFCCCA All-Academic selection at Edinboro.
An aspiring coach, Parsons worked several Edinboro cross country summer camps and participated in several team community service projects. During her time in Albuquerque, she was a graduate assistant in New Mexico’s Exercise Physiology Lab.
After graduating from Edinboro with a 3.94 GPA in exercise science, Parsons completed at master’s degree in physical education at New Mexico.
The Woman of the Year Selection Committee will choose the Top 30 honorees – 10 from each division – from the conference-level nominees. The selection committee will then determine the top three honorees in each division, and from those nine finalists, the NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics will choose the 2023 NCAA Woman of the Year, who will be announced at the NCAA Convention.