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Duncan a finalist for NCAA Woman of the Year award

Vantiel Elizabeth Duncan '10 is one of 10 student-athletes from Division III left to contend for the 2010 NCAA Woman of the Year award. (Photo by Tom Leonard '78)

LEWISTON, Maine -- The field of nominees for the 2010 NCAA Woman of the Year award has been whittled from 130 conference nominees to the Top 30 honorees, and Bates graduate Vantiel Elizabeth Duncan '10 remains.

Duncan (Topsham, Maine) has been invited to an awards dinner on Oct. 17 in Indianapolis, where the winner will be announced.

To get to this point, Duncan, along with Anjuli Demers of Middlebury, was nominated by the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC). 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.

A member of the Bobcats’ indoor and outdoor track & field teams for the past four years, Duncan is a six-time NCAA All-American and a seven-time All-NESCAC recipient. Duncan won the shot put for the third year in a row and added her first conference crown in the hammer throw at the 2010 NESCAC Outdoor Track & Field Championships on April 24, then claimed both events at the New England Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships in May. Earlier this year, Duncan’s three-peat performance in winning both the shot and the weight throw at the New England Indoor Track & Field Championships earned her Regional Field Athlete of the Year from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). She went on to finish second in the weight throw and seventh in the shot put at the NCAA indoor championships. All told, Duncan has been honored as All-ECAC 11 times and All-New England on 10 occasions in addition to her All-America and All-NESCAC honors throughout her career.

Duncan was equally impressive in the classroom at Bates. She majored in politics with minors in Chinese and music and achieved a grade point average of 3.39. She was recognized as NESCAC All-Academic four out of a possible four times, was named to the USTFCCCA Women’s All-Academic Track & Field Team twice, and earned CoSIDA/ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District I Second Team honors in both 2008 and 2010. Duncan was named Bates College's female athlete of the year in May.

Between her academic and athletic endeavors, Duncan somehow managed to find the time to also be a leader on her campus and in the local community. Duncan served as class president, was a member of the student affairs trustees’ committee, and participated in the the student organization review board over all four of her years at Bates. She also worked in a variety of offices on campus, including the registrar, student financial services, the office of advancement, admissions, and the athletics department. Duncan spun tunes at the student radio station; played in the Bates orchestra and was a member of the concert choir; tutored others in Chinese and music theory; and organized, promoted, and taught a two-day clinic for local youths on throwing techniques during her time in Lewiston. In 2009, Duncan worked for the office of Olympia Snowe, the senior U.S. Senator for Maine, and assisted U.S. Representative Arthur Davis’ campaign for governor in his home state of Alabama.

From the 30 honorees (10 each from Divisions I, II and III) nine finalists will first be named. The Woman of the Year will be chosen from among the nine finalists by the NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics.