By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
SALEM, Ore. -- Willamette University swimmer Kiley Lin (Sr.., Palo Alto, CA/Henry M. Gunn HS) has been nominated for the 2019 NCAA Woman of the Year Award. Lin recently graduated from Willamette with a bachelor's degree in Environmental Science. She set three individual records and was part of two relay records while competing for the Bearcats.
The NCAA Woman of the Year Award honors graduating female college student-athletes who have completed their eligibility and have distinguished themselves in academic, athletics, service and leadership.
This year, a record total of 585 student-athletes were nominated for the award. There were 262 nominees from NCAA Division I, with 131 nominees from NCAA Division II and 192 nominees from NCAA Division III. Willamette competes in Division III and the Northwest Conference.
"Kiley was an amazing member of the team during her time with Willamette Swimming," Willamette Head Coach Brent Summers said. "Aside from her numerous athletic accomplishments she excelled as a teammate and friend."
Each conference chooses a winner, and the top 30 nominees in that group -- 10 from each division -- are chosen next. Eventually, the top three nominees in each division are selected. The 2019 NCAA Woman of the Year Award winner will be chosen by the NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics from the final nine entries.
"Kiley contributed to our women's team being recognized as a CSCAA Scholar All-America team during her entire time with the program," Summers noted. "As a teammate, she was supportive of all the members of Willamette Swimming, and was someone who would be there for her teammates."
Lin established records for the Willamette women's swimming team in the 100-yard backstroke, 200-yard backstroke and 100-yard butterfly. She set her record in the 100 backstroke at 57.88 seconds in 2016. She also set the 200 backstroke record at 2:05.73 in 2016. She registered WU's record in the 100 butterfly at 58.81 seconds in 2018.
In the 100-yard backstroke, she holds six of Willamette's top seven times, including the five fastest results. She owns three of the six fastest times in the 200-yard backstroke, and three of the top seven times in the 100-yard butterfly.
Lin also helped Willamette break school records in the 200-yard medley relay and the 400-yard medley relay. The current record in the 200 medley relay was set in 2016 at 1:49.35, while the record in the 400 medley relay was broken in 2016 at 3:58.13. Her five Willamette women's swimming records are more than any other Bearcat.
She received Second Team All-Northwest Conference nine times. Her top finishes at the NWC Championships were fourth place in the 100-yard backstroke in 2015-16 and fourth place int he 200-yard butterfly in 2017-18. She also placed sixth three times, was seventh two times, and finished eighth two times.
While a student-athlete at Willamette, Lin studied in Japan after receiving a Luce Scholarship. Awarded by the Henry Luce Foundation, the Luce Scholarship is a nationally competitive fellowship program to enhance the understanding of Asia. Lin was a teaching assistant dendrochronology at Willamette, as she helped students analyze tree core samples. She also was a teaching assistant for international students.
"Always the happy and fun-loving personality, Kiley knew when to be serious when it came to the pool or her academics," Summers said. "Kiley has left a positive mark on our program, and I look forward to watching her continue to grow as she move into life beyond college."