Indianapolis, Ind. – Lynn University women's golf alumna Kristina Ortiz has been selected as a Top-30 honoree for the 2019 NCAA Woman of the Year Award, as announced by the Woman of the Year selection committee on Tuesday.
"I am really humbled and honored to be included in the Top-30 for NCAA Woman of the Year," Ortiz said. "Thank you to my Lynn family and mentors that have guided me throughout my college career. I would not be where I am today without the support of Lynn University and I will continue to be guided by the pillars of Spirit, Service, and Strength."
Ortiz was selected from an initial pool of 585 school nominees to join 10 women from each of the three divisions to make up the Top-30, spanning various NCAA sports. Each nominee has demonstrated excellence in academics, athletics, community service and leadership. She becomes the third Top-30 selection in Lynn history, joining Ellen Chambers (2014) and Alexandra Schunk (2008).
"This year's 30 honorees are remarkable women, representing well the thousands of women competing each year in college sports," said Karen Baebler, chair of the Woman of the Year selection committee and assistant athletics director for sport operations at the University of Washington. "They have excelled in sports and academics while serving their peers and communities, and we congratulate them for their many achievements."
In early October, the selection committee will announce the nine finalists, made up of three women from each NCAA division. From those finalists, the NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics will select the 2019 NCAA Woman of the Year. The Top 30 will be celebrated and the Woman of the Year will be named Oct. 20 at a ceremony in Indianapolis.
"Kristina's selection as a NCAA Top-30 honoree is very appropriate as she reflects the Lynn University values of Spirit, Service and Strength," added Devin Crosby, Lynn University's Director of Athletics. "She is loyal to her word, she is humble in her approach and she does everything with excellence. She is the definition of a Fighting Knight."
Ortiz graduated from Lynn in Spring 2019 with a 3.93 grade point average in international business management. Her classroom acumen earned her Google Cloud Academic All-America Third Team recognition in 2019 while she has also been honored as a two-time Google Cloud First Team All-District selection and four-time Women's Golf Coaches Association (WGCA) All-American Scholar as well as SSC Commissioner's Honor Roll recipient.
The Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, native put forth an incredible senior season in which she was tabbed WGCA Second Team All-America, WGCA First Team All-South Region and SSC Second Team All-Conference. Ortiz posted a 74.82 stroke average with six top-10 finishes, both personal bests, and ended her career with the Blue & White as the record holder for career rounds played and fourth in scoring average.
In addition to the personal accolades, Ortiz guided the Fighting Knights to the second SSC Championship and the third NCAA South Regional title in program history. Lynn ended the year with a ninth-place finish at the NCAA Division II National Championship, the team's first national title appearance since 2015.
While her athletic and academic plaudits are impressive, her time spent promoting change within the administrative and community ranks may be her most extraordinary accomplishments. She has been an integral part of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) at the university, conference and national levels, serving as Lynn's Co-President of SAAC since 2016, being named the SSC's SAAC President in 2017 and representing the league as the national representative beginning in 2017. Additionally, she served on Lynn's Athletic Council, the NCAA Committee on Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct and the Division II Management Council.
Within the South Florida community, Ortiz has been a part of many organizations to help those in need, including spearheading two Make-A-Wish Wishmaker campaigns and working with Feeding South Florida, 4ocean beach cleanup, Stratford retirement home and many others.
Lynn has now had three recipients of the SSC Woman of the Year award in the past three years and four since 2007. Each conference winner is nominated for the NCAA Woman of the Year Award honors. Rebecca Matthews (swimming) was recognized in 2016 and Ellen Chambers (golf) in 2014 as she became the first national NCAA WOTY Top-9 finalist in school history. Additionally, Alex Schunk (tennis) was one of two WOTY nominees from the SSC in 2007.