Grace Taylor Johnson
Sept. 14, 2011
ATHENS-----Former Georgia gymnast Grace Taylor Johnson has been selected as one of the nine finalists for the 2011 NCAA Woman of the Year Award, the NCAA announced Wednesday.
The 2011 NCAA Woman of the Year will be chosen from among the nine finalists by the NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics and announced at the NCAA Woman of the Year Awards Dinner to be held Sunday, Oct. 16 in Indianapolis.
The NCAA Woman of the Year Award honors graduating student-athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in the areas of academic achievement, athletics excellence, service and leadership.
Johnson was one of the Southeastern Conference's two nominees for the award. From a list of 141 candidates, she was selected as one of the Top 30 honorees before being named one of the nine finalists.
As a member of three national championship teams, Johnson is considered to be one of the top gymnasts in Georgia history. In 2010 she was the only gymnast in the SEC to receive a perfect 10, which she earned on the balance beam. That capped off her total of three perfect tens in her career as a Gym Dog. Johnson earned five All-America honors during her career and won the 2008 NCAA beam title.
A 2010 recipient of an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, Johnson was a four-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll, earned Second-Team ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-America At-Large Team honors and was the 2009 SEC Gymnastics Scholar-Athlete of the Year. She was also a member of the National Gymnastics Coaches All-Scholastic Team.
Johnson graduated from UGA in May with a degree in Health Promotion. She is currently enrolled in graduate school and will serve as a graduate assistant on the Gym Dogs' staff in 2011-12.
Georgia has had three NCAA Woman of the Year honorees: swimmers Lisa Ann Coole in 1997, Kristy Kowal in 2000 and Kimberly A. Black in 2001.
The other eight finalists for the award are Danielle Blair (UAB soccer), Annie Chandler (Arizona swimming), Victoria Hansen (West Liberty basketball), Hewenfei Elwen Li (BYU-Hawaii tennis), Kelsey Ward (Drury swimming), Laura Barito (Stevens Institute of Technology swimming, track and cross country), Michaela Calnan (Bowdoin College field hockey and ice hockey), and Hayley Emerick (Trinity University Texas diving).