Middlebury

Cramer Is NESCAC's Woman Of The Year Nominee

June 18, 2012

Margo Cramer (Seattle, Wash.), a 2012 graduate of Middlebury College and a former member of the Panthers’ cross country and track and field squads, has been nominated for the 2012 NCAA Woman of the Year Award by the New England Small College Athletic Conference.

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. The award has been given annually since 1991.

Cramer proved to be an all-around champion for the Panthers, as she excelled in the classroom, as a competitor, and in the local community.

Finishing her tenure at Middlebury this past May, Cramer graduated magna cum laude with a degree in women’s and gender studies (3.70 GPA). Among her many academic accomplishments, Cramer was recognized six times as Academic All-NESCAC, was distinguished as a Middlebury College Scholar on four occasions, and twice earned All-Academic honors from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). Cramer received Middlebury’s Hazeltine-Klevenow Memorial trophy, given for excellence in academics and athletics, and was named as an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship winner, one of only 174 of the annual recipients to receive the $7,500 award.

As a member of the Panthers’ cross country team, Cramer helped her squad to three conference titles and two national championships (2008, 2010) over her four seasons. Although Middlebury finished as the runner-up at both the NESCAC and NCAA meets this past fall, the two-year captain recorded some of the best performances of her career with a fourth-place showing at the league meet and a fifth-place finish at the national championship race, earning All-NESCAC and All-America honors for the first time. Following the season, Cramer came away with her team’s Dorcas den Hartog Award as the most valuable runner.

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Cramer’s success was not limited to the cross country trails of New England. During the winter months, she joined up with the Panthers’ indoor track and field team, primarily competing in the mid-distance events along with the distance medley relay squad. The two-time indoor All-American made an appearance at each of the last three national track and field meets, most recently finishing fourth in the mile and helping the Middlebury distance medley team repeat as NCAA champions this past March. Cramer’s indoor career featured six New England Regional titles, three of which came during her final campaign. Her strong performances earned her New England Indoor Athlete of the Year honors from the USTFCCCA.

After the winter indoor season would wrap up, Cramer returned outside for the remainder of the semester as part of Middlebury’s outdoor track and field team. Over the course of her career, Cramer came away as All-NESCAC 10 times and won six individual conference crowns, culminating with her second title in both the 1,500-meter run and 3,000-meter steeplechase this past April at Bates. Her time of 10:28.66 in the steeplechase established a new NESCAC meet record. The Panthers’ captain went on to add her second USTFCCCA New England Athlete of the Year honor before reaching the NCAA championships in May, at which she became a two-time All-American with her second consecutive runner-up performance in the 1,500-meter along with a fifth place showing in the 800-meter. Cramer left Middlebury with 10 indoor and outdoor program records and earned the A. Bayard Russ ‘66 Memorial Athletic Award, given by the college for performance, aggressiveness, leadership, tremendous desire, and team spirit in two intercollegiate sports.

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While her efforts in the classroom and on the race course were impressive, Cramer’s work in the local community displayed some of her greatest commitment. Cramer was an advocate on the Middlebury campus and surrounding town for awareness regarding sexual assault and gender violence. A member of Middlebury’s sexual assault oversight committee, she helped organize a campus-wide awareness event. In addition, she worked closely with the administration and the athletic department to fundraise and promote a lecture by well-known gender violence speaker Jackson Katz. Cramer also served as a Chellis House Monitor, Middlebury’s women’s resource center, with primary responsibilities including event staffing and promotion, and lent her time to Planned Parenthood for the Great Northwest. She was on the front lines of the college’s cleanup effort in the local community after Hurricane Irene hit Vermont in August of 2011, and she managed to find time to mentor a sixth-grade student every Wednesday during the school year.

“My professors, coaches, teammates, and even my sixth-grade reading mentee comprise the community that I rely on for support,” noted Cramer. “In turn, I feel it is my responsibility to set an example of hard work and respect in my community, just as I strive to do on my team.”

Cramer was selected by a committee of conference administrators to represent the NESCAC from a field of talented student-athletes nominated for the Woman of the Year Award. Other nominees included Haley Sive (Glenville, N.Y.) of Bates, Eleanor Curren (Roxbury, Conn.) of Bowdoin, and Kristin Alotta (West Islip, N.Y.) of Williams.

The 2012 NCAA Woman of the Year will be announced on October 14 in Indianapolis, Ind. More information on the award and a list of previous winners can be found at www.ncaa.org/woty.

--Courtesy NESCAC--