Sierra Hassel of the Nebraska women’s gymnastics program has been selected as the Big Ten Conference nominee for the NCAA Woman of the Year award.
Hassel is one of 161 conference nominees, selected from a pool of a record 605 school nominees. Hassel is among 161 candidates across all three NCAA divisions (including 59 NCAA Division I students) nominated for this year’s honor, which has been presented annually since 1991. The award recognizes the nation’s top senior female student-athlete who has excelled in the four pillars of academics, athletics, service and leadership.
A native of Johnston, Iowa, Hassel has a list of accolades both inside and outside of the gym is staggering. She was named the 2019-20 Nebraska Female Student-Athlete of the Year award, won the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 2020 and was named a First-Team All-Big Ten selection in 2019 and 2020. In the classroom, she was named a WCGA Scholastic All-American in 2019 and 2020. She graduated in May with a degree in accounting and management.
Nebraska volleyball standout Billie Winsett-Fletcher was the first student from a current Big Ten school to have been chosen as NCAA Woman of the Year, receiving the award in 1996. Angela Mercurio of the Nebraska track and field program was honored with the award in 2019.
The Woman of the Year Selection Committee, made up of representatives from the NCAA membership, will now choose the Top 30 honorees — 10 from each division — from the conference-level nominees. The Top 30 honorees will be announced in September. From there, the selection committee will narrow the pool to three finalists from each division. The NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics will select the 2020 Woman of the Year from the nine finalists.
The Top 30 honorees will be celebrated and the 2020 NCAA Woman of the Year will be named this fall.