INDIANAPOLIS — Peyton Barnes was named to the national Top 30 honoree list for the 2023 NCAA Woman of the Year Award, the association revealed on Monday (Oct. 23).
Barnes joins 30 national honorees across all three divisions for the NCAA Woman of the Year recognition. She will be recognized at the 2024 NCAA Convention in Phoenix this January.
Barnes, from Waldorf, Md., was a four-year member of the Fairmont State Acrobatics & Tumbling team and was named the MEC Specialist of the Year following her senior season in the spring of 2023. She was also recognized nationally by the National Collegiate Acrobatics & Tumbling Association (NCATA) as the 2023 recipient of the Colleen Kausrud Leadership Award, recognizing the senior Acrobatics & Tumbling student-athlete that exemplifies leadership throughout her career.
In addition to earning all-conference recognition for her performance on the mat, Barnes was also a triple major at Fairmont State and earned degrees in National Security and Intelligence, Political Science and Criminal Justice. She graduated Summa Cum Laude. She was a three-time member of the NCATA All-Academic Team, was named to the NCATA Academic Honor Roll, and was a member of the MEC All-Academic Team four times during her career.
She also earned the 2023 Jasper H. Colebank Award, recognizing the top senior student-athlete at Fairmont State. She helped Fairmont State to two MEC Regular Season and Tournament Championships and was an eight-time conference champion in individual events. She was also a member of the student-athlete advisory committee (SAAC) as a Fairmont State and Mountain East Conference representative.
Established in 1991, the award is rooted in Title IX and recognizes female student-athletes who have completed their undergraduate studies and distinguished themselves in their community, in athletics and in academics throughout their college careers.
Selected from a record-breaking 619 nominees submitted by member schools — a group that was then narrowed to 164 nominees at the conference level — the Top 30 honorees include 10 from each of the three NCAA divisions. Each honoree has demonstrated excellence in academics, athletics, community service and leadership. The honorees represent 15 sports, including two student-athletes representing NCAA Emerging Sports for Women. They have a variety of majors, including national security and intelligence, neuroscience, economics, civil engineering, education, nursing, computer science and business management.
“We are thrilled to celebrate 30 incredible student-athletes who surpassed the standard of excellence on their campus, in their community and on their teams,” said Renie Shields, chair of the Woman of the Year Selection Committee and senior associate athletics director/senior woman administrator at Saint Joseph’s. “This decorated and diverse group represent the thousands of women competing in college sports each year and are contributing to the ongoing growth of women sports.”
The selection committee will determine three honorees from each NCAA division, for a total of nine finalists. From those finalists, the NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics will choose the 2023 NCAA Woman of the Year.
The NCAA Woman of the Year will be named, and the Top 30 will be celebrated at the NCAA Convention in January.