LANCASTER, Pa. -- Dickinson's Elaina Clancy and Johns Hopkins' Diarra Oden have been selected as the Centennial Conference nominees for the 2022 NCAA Woman of the Year award. The Centennial nominees for NCAA Woman of the Year are selected annually by the conference Senior Woman Administrators.
Clancy and Oden were chosen from a group of seven candidates submitted by CC member institutions. Now in its 32nd year, the Woman of the Year award honors graduating female college athletes who have exhausted their eligibility and distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in academics, athletics, service, and leadership. 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.
To be eligible, a nominee must have competed and earned a varsity letter in an NCAA-sponsored sport, must have completed eligibility in her primary sport, and must have earned her undergraduate degree by Summer 2022. Click here for more information on the award and a list of previous winners.
A two-sport standout for the Dickinson cross country and track & field teams, Clancy put together a superb career in distance running. In the 2021 outdoor track & field season, she captured All-America honors in the 10,000 meters with a fifth-place finish at the NCAA Championship. Earlier in the year, Clancy won Centennial gold in the 10k and claimed All-Region accolades in both the 10k and 5k. Her 10k time of 35:46.56 at the 2021 NCAA meet ranks second all-time at Dickinson and sixth in Centennial history. As a senior in 2022, Clancy finished as the conference runner-up in the 10k. During the 2021 cross country season, Clancy earned first-team all-conference accolades with a seventh-place individual finish at the CC meet.
A law and policy major and economics minor from Boiling Springs, Pa., Clancy graduated this spring with a 3.83 cumulative grade point average. She was an annual member of the Dean's List at Dickinson (2018-22) and also earned the Harry Goldberg Prize for Military Science in 2019, awarded to the top cadet.
While she sports an impressive athletic and academic resume, Clancy also boasts a lengthy list of accomplishments in leadership and community service positions. Clancy was a member of the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) from 2018-22, spending about 15 hours per week as part of the college-based officer training programs for training commissioned officers of the United States Armed Forces. She displayed high levels of leadership as part of ROTC, climbing to the role of Battalion Commander - the highest ranking cadet in an 80-cadet battalion. Responsibilities of this position included overseeing battalion staff and coordinating community outreach events such as a Veteran's Day 5k race, Thanksgiving canned food drive, Habitat for Humanity fundraising day, and a volunteer field day with a local alternative school. Clancy was also a member of the Dickinson Student Senate from 2018-22 and class president, coordinating community-building events on campus and working with college administration to develop COVID-19 protocols for the return-to-campus throughout the pandemic. In 2021-22, she was one of just eight Dickinson student-athletes appointed to the Hera Honor Society, a group that seeks to empower and unite female-identifying student athletes through their eight core values of scholarship, leadership, equality, service, integrity, sportsmanship, tenacity, and resiliency. Clancy was the main coordinator of Yellow Breeches Field Day, a volunteer mentorship day with a local school, and was also responsible for building a female student-athlete mentorship program on campus, helping facilitate connections among the athletics community. Other campus leadership roles for Clancy included working as a teaching assistant in the economics department, serving on the honor board of Delta Nu, and serving as a student representative on the Academic Program and Standards Committee and Student Life Committee.
A guard for the Hopkins women's basketball team, Oden wrapped up her career as one of the most decorated players in JHU history. She is one of just eight players in Centennial history to receive first team All-America accolades, having earned that distinction from the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) following the 2021-22 season. She was also one of just 10 national finalists for the Jostens Trophy, awarded annually to the most outstanding player in Division III. The 2022 Centennial Player of the Year, Oden collected first team all-conference honors twice throughout her career. She became the second player in school history to earn first team All-America, the fifth to be named CC Player of the Year, the sixth named D3hoops.com All-Region, the seventh to be named to a CoSIDA Academic All-District, and one of just two Blue Jays to be named a Jostens Trophy finalist. Oden is the first player in JHU program history to check each of those aforementioned boxes.
A three-time team captain, Oden made her mark on the JHU career record book, ranking fifth in free throws made (257), eighth in minutes per game (27.7), eighth in points per game (13.4), 11th in free throw percentage (.769) 12th in points scored (1,073), 15th in three-point field goals made (78), 17th in defensive rebounds (271), 18th in field goals made (369) and 20th in steals (137). The Blue Jays compiled a 50-10 record during her three seasons on the court, including two NCAA Tournament appearances.
A public health major and english minor from Atlanta, Ga., Oden graduated this spring with a 3.55 cumulative grade point average. Oden was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District team in 2022 and was a four-time Dean's List member including a perfect 4.0 GPA in two of her final four semesters. She worked as a research assistant in the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience for three years and as part of her honors in public health studies requirement wrote a thesis on the lateral habenula (LHb), a newly found region of the brain, and its implications on the mouse model. In addition to her thesis work, Oden also has a review article in submission for publication and developed four original research posters and abstracts for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Annual Gilliam Meeting and the Johns Hopkins Medical Institute Neuroscience Annual Recruitment Event. For her academic excellence, hard work and talent, Oden received the prestigious Dr. Paul B. Lavine Memorial Scholarship, presented to select students representing the highest caliber of academic achievement and extracurricular involvement.
Oden was equally involved on campus and in the community during her time in Baltimore. During her junior year, she mentored young girls and volunteered at a non-profit called Squashwise Baltimore. There, she tutored, taught various subjects related to Black Women's history, led virtual workouts via Zoom, and listened to concerns from the girls about growing into their bodies as they transformed from pre-teens to teenagers. She was also a founding member of the Black Student Athlete Association (BSAA) at JHU and co-founder of the Athlete Book Club (ABC). Through BSAA, Oden became a mentor to the younger black athletes on campus by helping to facilitate the creation of diversity, equity and inclusion events and creating a mentorship program. Through ABC, Oden helped facilitiate discussion among student-athletes on race, culture and equality through the curation of an effective reading list. As a three-year team captain, Oden was an inaugural cohort member of Blue Jays LEAD, a contingent of captains from each varsity team at JHU. One of the main goals of Blue Jays LEAD is to learn and implement ways to develop positive team culture, integrate new teammates, and communicate with teammates and coaches. Oden was also a student advisor on the Public Health Studies Student Committee, a pharmacy technician at a CVS on campus, and a volunteer intern for SimpliFed Research, an organization that conducts research and provides resources for breastfeeding mothers in Baltimore's underserved communities.
The NCAA Woman of the Year selection committee identifies the Top 30 – 10 from each division – and from there selects three finalists from each division. The top 30 honorees will be announced in September, and the 2022 NCAA Woman of the Year will be announced later in the fall.