Former University of Utah gymnastics All-American Kari Lee has been nominated by NCAA member schools for the 2019 NCAA Woman of the Year award.
A record 585 female college athletes have been nominated this year, competing in 23 different sports across all three NCAA divisions, including 262 from Division I. Conferences will select up to two nominees each from the pool of candidates with the Woman of the Year selection committee choosing the Top 30 from there.
The selection committee will determine the top three honorees from each division from the Top 30 and announce the nine finalists in September. The top 30 honorees will be celebrated and the 2019 NCAA Woman of the Year will be named at the annual award ceremony on Oct. 20, 2019, in Indianapolis.
The criteria for the NCAA Woman of the Year award is composed of academic achievement, athletics excellence and service and leadership, all things Lee excels at.
When she wasn’t starring on the competition floor, she was a mainstay for the Utes in the classroom, completing her bachelor’s degree in business administration. The four-time Pac-12 All-Academic selection and two-time WCGA Scholar All-American won the school’s 2018-19 Chris Hill Leadership Award and was co-recipient of the gymnastics program’s 2019 Greg Marsden Leadership Award.
The Peoria, Arizona, native was also active in the Salt Lake City community during her time with the Utes, speaking to students and teaching physical education classes at local elementary schools. She was involved in the Girls on the Run shoe drive and a fundraiser for the non-profit Women of the World organization along with contributing to a Q&A with high-risk school females.
In the realm of competition, Lee was a three-time All-American, qualifying for the NCAA individual finals on vault and floor as a freshman while helping the Utes place second in the nation at the 2015 NCAA Championships. After recovering from Achilles surgery just a year later, she became a six-time All-Pac-12 selection and competed in the all-around her last two seasons.
She has career-highs of 9.975 on both bars and beam and a 39.550 all-around high, winning 20 event titles in her career. She has hit 96% (188-195) of her career routines, starring on a team that won Pac-12 Championships in 2015 and 2017 and qualified into the NCAA Championships all five years of her career.