September 1, 1998
LOS ANGELES -- One of the nation's top student-athletes, UCLA senior thrower Nada Kawar (Na-da Ka-warr), who last spring earned first-team Academic All-America along with All-American status in the shot put and discus at the NCAA Outdoor, has been named the 1998 NCAA Woman of the Year for California, the NCAA announced Tuesday.
Kawar, from Montrose who attended Crescenta Valley High School, as a senior this spring earned GTE/CoSIDA first-team Academic All-American with a 3.906 cumulative grade-point-average (based on a 4.0 scale) in biology. A Phi Beta Kappa National Honor Society member, Kawar was also awarded the Pacific-10 Medal, based on the exhibition of the greatest combination of performance and achievement in scholarship, athletics and leadership. She was recently rewarded with a $5,000 post-graduate scholarship from the NCAA (Kawar wants to attend medical school and is a member of the UCLA Pre-Medicine Society).
In track and field this spring, her final year of collegiate eligibility, Kawar at the '98 NCAA Outdoor twice earned All-American honors, placing third in the shot put (58-4 1/2, personal-best and No. 3 in Pac-10 and UCLA history) and sixth in the discus (184-0). At the 1998 Pac-10 meet, she was second in the shot put and fifth in the discus.
During her four-year (1995-98) outdoor and indoor UCLA track and field career, Kawar in the shot put and discus earned All-America honors eight times, was the Pac-10 shot put champion as a junior in 1997 and represented the country of Jordan at the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta. As a sophomore in '96, she earned second-team Academic All-American.
The NCAA Woman of the Year Award honors outstanding female student-athletes who have excelled in academics, athletics and community leadership. The state winners were selected by a committee comprised of representatives from member schools. The 51 state winners were chosen from more than 400 nominations. The 51 state-level winners include 26 student-athletes from Div. I, 10 student-athletes from Div. II and 15 student-athletes from Div. III.
Ten finalists will be announced later this month. The NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics will select the NCAA Woman of the Year from among the finalists. The NCAA will salute the achievements and the accomplishments of all the state winners and finalists at the 1998 NCAA Woman of the Year Awards Dinner, on Sunday, Oct. 18, 1998 at The Westin Hotel in Indianapolis, IN.