RIVERSIDE, Calif. --- When you become the first California Baptist University athlete to win an NCAA Division II championship, people take notice.
After Mary Hanson made history this past season after taking home the title in the 100-yard backstroke, it came as no surprise The Press-Enterprise named her the Women’s Athlete of the Year.
"I feel so honored to be chosen for Women's Athlete of the Year," said Hanson. "I just want to say thanks to my coaches, family and friends for all their support."
In her first shot at the NCAA--as it was CBU's inaugural year as a fully-fledged Division II member--Hanson set a new Division II record, in addition to new personal and school bests, with a championship time of 52.45 seconds.
On the first day of the NCAAs, she became the first NCAA All-American in the history of the CBU swim program with a bronze finish in the 50 freestyle with a time of 22.92 – another season and team best for Hanson.
Not only is the junior a standout in the pool, she excels in the classroom as well, picking up the 2014 Summit Award, an award given to the athletes with the highest cumulative grade-point average competing in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference finals.
With the 2013-14 season behind her, the soon-to-be senior has one more year to make even more of a mark on her time at CBU.
"I'm super excited to see how much we can achieve next year and what God has planned for us," said Hanson. "I hope that He continues to bless us and that we can continue to give the glory back to Him."