Elizabeth Jillson Named NCAA Woman Of The Year For Oregon

Sept. 12, 2003

INDIANAPOLIS - Oregon State gymnast Elizabeth Jillson has been named the 2003 NCAA Woman of the Year for the state of Oregon, the NCAA has announced.

The annual award honors an outstanding senior female student-athlete from each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia for excellence in academics, athletics and community leadership.

As a senior last year, Jillson scored a 10.0 on bars at the Pacific-10 Championship to win a conference title after placing in the top five at Pac-10s as a sophomore and junior. She was named to the Pacific-10 All-Conference Team as a junior and senior.

She earned first team All-America honors on bars in 2002, when she placed 11th nationally in the individual finals at the NCAA Championships as a junior.

'This is a tremedous honor for Elizabeth and Oregon State University. She has worked extremely hard over the past four years and has given everything in the gym, the classroom and the community,' said coach Tanya Chaplin. 'This is a well-deserved honor, and she will represent the state of Oregon with class.'

Jillson, a liberal studies major who plans to go into teaching, carries a 3.32 grade point average and was named a Scholastic All-American by the National Association of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches following her senior year. She was a three-time honorable mention selection on the Pac-10's All-Academic Team.

She served on OSU's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee for four years and was the chair of the organization's Student-Athlete Welfare Committee as a junior. She volunteered in a classroom at a local middle school as a junior, and she was involved in the Lunch Buddy program at a local middle school during her sophomore year. Jillson also has been involved with the Read with the Beavers program as well as helping a youth group with an outreach program.

The state winners will be recognized at an awards banquet in Indianapolis on November 1, when the national winner of the NCAA Woman of the Year award will be announced. The 10 finalists for the national award will be announced later this month.

'I'm shocked. This is awesome. It's an honor to win this award and be able to represent Oregon State University and the state of Oregon,' Jillson said. 'I'm really excited to go to Indianapolis and meet all of the other winners from different sports and schools across the country. I'm honored to have that opportunity.'

Jillson is the sixth Beaver to receive the NCAA Woman of the Year award at the state level in the 13-year history of the program. Gymnast Joy Selig was honored in 1991, the inaugural year for the award. Golfer/basketball player Margo Evashevski (1994), gymnast Deanne Droegemueller (1998), softball player Tarrah Beyster (2000) and volleyball player Gina Schmidt (2002) have also received the award. Selig was among the 10 finalists for the national award in 1991.

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