Former Husker triple jumper Angela Mercurio was named the 2019 NCAA Woman of the Year Sunday, Oct. 20.
Mercurio was selected from a record-setting 585 women nominated for the award.
“When they said my name, my eyes went big,” Mercurio said.
The 2019 University of Nebraska-Lincoln Biochemistry and Women and Gender Studies Graduate didn’t believe her ears.
“Most of the shock came from the fact that I’d spent the last two days with the girls, and they’re all amazing,” Mercurio said.
Mercurio is the second UNL student to win the award. Former Husker volleyball national champion Billie Winsett-Fletcher won the award in 1996.
“To represent Nebraska on that stage is one of the most rewarding things because I truly believe it is such a great school,” Mercurio said.
Mercurio earned many accolades during her time as a Husker. She earned three Second Team All-American honors and was the 2019 Indoor Big Ten Champion. She was also a four-time Big Ten Distinguished Scholar and was a Nebraska Sam Foltz Hero 27 Leadership award recipient in 2017.
“I know that Nebraska helped me,” Mercurio said. “You feel like you’re a part of something, you’re part of a community where people actually care about you.”
Mercurio has taken the community feeling and adapted it into her career. The Kitchener, Ontario, native is living in New York, doing research at the Hospital for Special Surgery.
She works for the Women’s Sports Medicine Center. She plans to hold this position for a year before attending medical school.
Now that she’s back working in New York, she reflected on what the accomplishment means to her.
“It’s something that I have to pay forward. I don’t exactly know how yet, but that’s really what I’ve been thinking about,” Mercurio said. “How can I pay this forward and what can I do that will be meaningful for this award.”
Mercurio hopes her platform will help inspire other Huskers.
“We should have another NCAA Woman of the Year finalist before another 23 years goes by,” Mercurio said.