Mikeisha Kelly Reflects on 2019 NCAA Woman of the Year Nomination

by ALEXA SCHMIDTFeatures Editor

This summer, Mikeisha Kelly was nominated out of 585 female college athletes to be 2019 NCAA Woman of the Year. A communication major at Manhattan College, Kelly was a four-year track and field athlete, serving as the captain and MAAC champion. Additionally, she holds a school record as a member of the indoor distance medley relay team that ran a 11:50.06 at the 2018 Boston University Terrier Classic.

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Mikeisha Kelly was nominated out of 585 female college athletes to be 2019 NCAA Woman of the Year. MANHATTAN COLLEGE/ COURTESY

“In her four years at Manhattan, Mikeisha embodied everything it means to be a Jasper student-athlete,” said Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Marianne Reilly on GoJaspers. “She not only competed at the highest levels as a member of our track and field program, but she gave back to our community, excelled in the classroom and served as a mentor to our younger student-athletes. We are so proud of this well-deserved nomination, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for her.”

Established in 1991, the award recognizes female college athletes who have exhausted their eligibility and distinguished themselves in academics, athletics, service and leadership throughout their collegiate careers.

The Top 30 honorees, comprising 10 women from each division, will be named by the Woman of the Year selection committee in September. The selection committee will then narrow the pool to nine finalists, with three from each division, in early October. From those finalists, the NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics will select the 2019 Woman of the Year.

Although Kelly did not make it to the top 30, she was one of 148 remaining nominees. She expressed how grateful she is for the opportunity and nomination as a whole.

“This award represents more than athletic achievement. It encompasses all of the work put forth by myself and those who have supported me, challenged me and changed me through my collegiate experience. It represents who I am through the Lasallian values, and has been a rewarding accolade for the work I put in.”

At first, Kelly was not sure if she was going to run in college.

“I decided that I was going to run Manhattan was the perfect fit after I met everyone on the team. Throughout my four years there was a lot of changes and I had the most incredible teammates, who are also well rounded individuals who have gone on to do super successful things and I had a tremendous, tremendous career. I really enjoyed my time and just running-wise. I think that it was, by the end of it, a well-rounded program that I hope continues to succeed,” Kelly said.

After graduation, Kelly landed a job as a social media coordinator at the Armory Foundation, based in New York City in Washington Heights.

“Basically my job entails working with the foundation aspect which is education based, so it’s a college prep program that helps kids get into college, and the foundation also works with middle schoolers. So it’s a beautiful program. And then the other side of it is sports based which is track and field,” Kelly said.

“So, the armory is the [fastest] indoor track in the world really. And it’s just like this very historic legendary place for so many runners, and I work on the sports side, doing social, creating jumbotron images doing graphics videos and just developing their social media,” she said.

Kelly touched upon how Manhattan has left a lasting impact on her, and how it has continued to benefit her career and relationships.

“I feel like there’s always someone out there that you can talk to. There’s always a connection with someone who went to the school, and I think that’s something so special that you really don’t find with other schools and other people who attended different universities and colleges. I think connections and a feeling of community was something that really goes within your four years, but it also goes so much further than that and those connections have gotten me to where I am today,” Kelly said.

“I would just like to say thank you to everyone who supported myself and says continue to support the school. There’s just so many people I think but we’ll just leave it at general. Thank you to Manhattan.”