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Athletics: Hayden, Montoya Nominated for NCAA Woman of the Year
Both are now eligible to be chosen by the Sun Belt Conference as the conference's nominee that will be forwarded to the Woman of the Year selection committee
LAFAYETTE – Softball senior outfielder Haley Hayden and soccer senior midfielder Yazmin Montoya represented the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns Athletics Department among the distinguished group of female student-athletes nominated for the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year Award.
To view the complete list of school nominees, click here.
Now in its 27th year, the Woman of the Year award honors graduating female college student-athletes who have exhausted their eligibility and distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in academics, athletics, service and leadership.
Hayden and Montoya are among a record 543 female student-athletes nominated nationwide across all NCAA divisions.
Of the nominees for the national award, 229 competed in Division I, 117 competed in Division II and 197 competed in Division III athletics. The nominees competed in 21 different women's sports, and 122 were multi-sport athletes.
The Ragin' Cajuns duo will now be considered among the Sun Belt Conference's nominees for the annual award. Each conference is allowed to select up to two conference nominees from the pool of school nominees. The Woman of the Year selection committee, made up of representatives from the NCAA membership, will then choose the top 30 honorees — 10 from each division.
From the Top 30, the selection committee determines the top three nominees from each division and announces the top nine finalists in September. The NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics then chooses the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year from those nine.
The Top 30 honorees will be recognized and the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year will be announced at the annual award ceremony Oct. 22 in Indianapolis.
Hayden graduated in May with a bachelor's degree in exercise science and has been accepted to Palmer (Fla.) College's chiropractor school. The West Monroe native was a four-time All-Sun Belt Conference and four-time NFCA All-Central Region choice, three-time CoSIDA Academic All-District™ recipient and first team member on the 2017 CoSIDA Academic All-America® Division I softball team.
Hayden produced at least 40 runs, hits and RBI all four years and her career totals exceeded the 200-mark in each category. This season she became the Ragin' Cajuns all-time runs scored leader, scoring the record-breaking 244th career run on April 30. In her final campaign wearing a Cajuns uniform, Hayden posted a career-best .382 average and eclipsed 50 RBI (career-high 57) and double digit home runs (12) for the first time since sophomore season.
Montoya, the UL Female Student-Athlete of the Year, was a magna cum laude graduate in exercise science after the Fall 2016 semester and is currently enrolled in graduate school at UL. A four-year letterwinner and three-time team captain for the Ragin' Cajuns, the West Covina, Calif., native finished her career as the all-time leader in goals (26), assists (15), points (67), shots (227) and shot on-goal (98).
She earned first-team All-Sun Belt Conference and All-Louisiana honors as both a freshman and senior while being named to the SBC Commissioner's List and the UL Dean's List.
For more information on Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns Athletics and its 16 sports programs, visit RaginCajuns.com. Fans can also follow along on Facebook (/RaginCajunsAthletics),Twitter (@ULRaginCajuns) and Instagram (@ULRaginCajuns).
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