Newman alumni continue to impress their alma mater with their accomplishments, and Delaney Hiegert, 2018 NCAA Woman of the Year finalist, is no exception. Her impressive academic and athletic career and her nomination for this award is a testament to her star quality.
Hiegert, a recipient of the Rice Scholarship at the University of Kansas School of Law, gratefully acknowledged Newman’s help in this achievement.
She first learned of the NCAA Woman of the Year award from Newman University’s former sports information director, David Rung.
Hiegert said, “He reached out to me at the beginning of the summer and told me that I should fill out an application for the award. I did, and I thought my application would be the end of it.”
A record number of more than 580 nominees were put forward for the award, according to the NCAA. Hiegert was originally named one of 30 finalists for the award and later made it into the top three. The award honors graduating female college athletes who have exhausted their eligibility and distinguished themselves in academics, athletics, service and leadership throughout their collegiate careers.
“Once I found out that I was the conference nominee, then that I was in the top 30, I was really surprised. When I found out that I was a finalist, I really didn’t know what to think,” she said.
Hiegert explained that the further she went along the nomination process, the more she was reminded of how happy she was for choosing Newman for her undergraduate studies. She added, “I wouldn’t have been able to achieve half of what I did these past four years if it weren’t for the great community environment at Newman and the support system I had there.”
Since her graduation from Newman, Hiegert has begun studying at the University of Kansas School of Law.
“It’s definitely a different world, but it’s extremely interesting. Though KU is a large university, the law school only consists of about 300 students, and it reminds me of Newman, ” she said.
Hiegert described her life as “substantially less interesting” now that she attends classes from 8 to 5 every day, but she still makes to become involved on her new campus. “I am the vice president for the KU Law OUTLaws & Allies student organization, which advocates, supports and educates the community on LGBT+ issues.”
Hiegert has also continued to be involved with sports. “I’m also a proud member of the law school’s intramural flag football team,” she said.
Hiegert reminisced about her time at Newman and said, “I can’t emphasize how big of a role Newman played in my success as an undergraduate student and as an athlete. The smaller campus allowed me to connect with students and faculty from all different areas of Newman, and I wouldn’t have been able to achieve half of what I did without that ability.”
She also has a message for Newman students who may still be trying to figure out their niche — to keep their options open.
“I had quite a range of interests in undergrad, from softball to improv to the Vantage, and I was able to pursue each of them and more. Newman is a place to explore your interests, and you don’t have to choose just one.”
Hiegert also advised that students take advantage of the people in their corner. “I cannot thank the faculty, staff and coaches at Newman enough for their dedication and support during my time there. I know that I’m in law school now because of them.”
The NCAA Woman of the Year will be announced during a ceremony Oct 28 in Indianapolis.