June 26, 2013
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. -- The Patriot League's Senior Woman Administrators have selected Navy swimmer Laura Gorinski, along with Army volleyball player Ariana Mankus as nominees for the 2013 NCAA Woman of the Year Award. Gorinski and Mankus were chosen based on their excellence in the four areas of importance for the NCAA Woman of the Year award: academic achievement, athletics excellence, service and leadership.
Gorinski graduated as one of the most decorated student-athletes in Patriot League history, capturing a League-record (both men and women) 11 gold medals and one silver in 12 individual race appearances in her four-year career at the League championship meet. She became the first in League history to sweep both the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke races in all four years, while adding three gold medals and one runner-up finish in the 200 individual medley. Gorinski was also a part of nine winning relay squads at the League meet, bringing her career gold medals total at the event to a League-record (both men and women) 20. She was a four-time first-team All-League performer, was named Female Rookie of the Championship Meet in 2010 and Female Swimmer of the Meet in 2012 and '13. She was part of three League championship squads in 2010, 2012 and 2013, while the 2011 team took second.
Gorinski's annual success at the League meet translated to national recognition. She was named the CollegeSwimming.com National Swimmer of the Week three times in her career, once each in her sophomore, junior and senior campaigns. She posted NCAA B cut times all four years, competed in three events at the 2012 NCAA Championship Meet and swam in breaststroke races at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials. Gorinski graduated with Patriot League records in the 100 breast, 200 breast and 200 IM races.
Gorinski was also the 2013 recipient of the Vice Adm. Lawrence Sword for Women, which is presented to that woman of the graduating class who is considered by the Association's Athletic Council have personally excelled in women's athletics during her years of varsity competition.
In addition to her exploits in the pool, Gorinski had a prolific academic career. She was named the Patriot League Women's Swimming and Diving Scholar-Athlete of the Year in all three years of her eligibility, and graduated from the Naval Academy with a 3.71 GPA with a major in astrophysics. She earned Scholar All-America honors from the College Swimming Coaches Association (CSCA) in all four years, with a first-team nod in 2012 and honorable mention status in the other three seasons. Additionally, she was named a 2013 Second-Team Academic All-America At-Large selection. An early selectee to serve as a U.S. Navy submarine officer, Gorinski graduated in the top 10 percent of her class in Overall Order of Merit, and received a prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.
"There is little doubt that Laura is one of the greatest female swimmers to ever participate in the Patriot League and arguably one of the finest student-athletes in league history," said Navy women's swimming head coach John Morrison. "While she is a talented swimmer and and has excelled academically, Laura works incredibly hard in and out of the pool every day. We are thrilled that the Patriot League has recognized her hard work and earned success.We are exceptionally proud of Laura."
A native of Lisle, Ill., Mankus made an immediate impact as a freshman at Army, becoming the first player in League history named Player and Rookie of the Year in the same season by the head coaches. She earned national recognition as Rookie of the Year from CVU.com, and helped the Black Knights capture the Patriot League championship and advance to the NCAA Tournament.
Mankus earned first-team All-League honors in three seasons, including back-to-back campaigns in 2011 and '12. She repeated as the League's Player of the Year in 2012 as a senior, while also picking up Player of the Year honors from the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC).
The outside hitter, who finished her career ranked in the League's all-time top 10 in kills and digs, was also a standout in the classroom. She was named to the Academic All-Patriot League team twice, and appeared on West Point's Dean's List in six semesters. She received the U.S. Military Academy's Wreath, which goes to a cadet achieving at least a 3.0 grade in military, physical and academic arenas. She graduated with a 3.24 grade-point average with a degree in literature.
During her senior season, Mankus served as team captain of the Army volleyball team and chair of the school's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). She assumed several leadership positions as she matriculated at Army, including as a squad leader, battalion sergeant major and regimental command sergeant major. In her spare time she also served as a two-year volunteer with the Special Olympics from 2011-13.
Every year, the NCAA encourages each member college and university to honor its top one or two graduating female student-athletes by submitting their names for consideration for the Woman of the Year award. The Patriot League's pair of nominees came from a collection of submitted names from member institutions that also included: Caroline Tolli of Bucknell, Ashley Walsh of Colgate, Kathleen Brekka of Holy Cross, Emily Valeo of Lafayette and Liz Lucas of Lehigh.
The NCAA Woman of the Year selection committee will choose the top 10 honorees in each division. A total of 455 female student-athletes were nominated for this year's award, including 214 from Division I. The committee will whittle the 30 candidates down to the top three in each division and announce the nine finalists in September. The NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics will then vote to determine the Woman of the Year, who will be announced at the annual ceremony in Indianapolis on Oct. 20.
### Go Navy ###