Michelle Sikes Nominated By ACC For NCAA Woman Of The Year

June 7, 2007

GREENSBORO, N.C. - Miami's Audrey Banada and Wake Forest's Michelle Sikes will represent the Atlantic Coast Conference as the league's nominees for the 2007 NCAA Woman of the Year award. Banada and Sikes were selected by a vote of the league's 12 Senior Woman Administrators.

The award honors female student-athletes who have completed their eligibility and demonstrated excellence in academics, athletics, community service and leadership. Last year and for the first time, the NCAA invited each of the conferences to nominate women that represented such qualities. In the award's 16-year history, the ACC has garnered the award twice. The NCAA selected Wake Forest's Anne Bersagel in 2006, while Peggy Boutilier of Virginia was honored in 1998.

Sikes is a four-year All-ACC first team recipient for the Wake Forest women's track and field and cross country teams. The Lakewood, Ohio, native, who qualified for the 2007 NCAA meet in both the 5,000m and 10,000m, will focus on only the 5,000m at the upcoming national championships, where she was an All-American in 2006 on the same track. Sikes qualified for the NCAA Championships by winning the 5,000m crown at the Regional Championships in a time of 15:52.55, the next closest competitor coming in 17 seconds after. Sikes holds the third-fastest 5k time in the nation, a blazing mark of 15:47.48 that she ran at the Stanford Invitational on March 30, breaking the previous school record. Sikes will be looking to close out her Wake Forest career with her fourth overall track All-America award and third this year. Her previous two came in the 3,000m and 5,000m at the 2007 NCAA Indoor Championships in Fayetteville, Ark.

A current volunteer interpreter for a local free medical clinic, Sikes holds the fastest Wake Forest time in the 3,000m, the 5,000m, and the 10,000m events and fastest 10,000m time in the ACC. In addition to being a Student Government representative throughout her time with the Demon Deacons, Sikes was a member of the Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society, El Club Hispano, the National Resident Hall Honorary and the Athletic Director's Council.

Banada, who earned a final singles' ranking of No. 42 in the final Fila Collegiate Tennis Rankings administered by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA), closed out her career at Miami with an overall singles record of 32-11. The North Miami Beach, Fla. native finished 21-6 in dual action, while tallying 10 wins at the Nos. 2 and 3 spots, respectively. The 2006-07 season marked a special one for Banada, as she earned the top-spot as the all-time leader in singles at Miami, and finished with a career record of 110-25, surpassing former All-American Ronni Reis, who tallied 103 wins from 1985-1988.

In doubles, Banada finished with a 2007 38-12 overall record and concluded her career with an overall 122-32 record. She sits as Miami's all-time leader in doubles, surpassing former Hurricane Melissa Applebaum's 107-34 record. Banada is the second player in UM women's tennis history to uphold the position as the all-time career records leader in both singles and doubles simultaneously.

The North Miami Beach, Fla. native was named to the All-ACC team for the third time in her career, and was ranked as high as No. 26, marking a personal-high in the ITA rankings. Banada represented the Hurricanes as a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and was the program's both academic and team captain. The tennis standout was named to Miami's Honor Roll for the Fall of 2003, 2004 and 2005, and received the Arthur Ashe Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship in 2005.

The NCAA selection committee will select the top 10 winners in each division and from the remaining 30 honorees, the committee will determine the top three in each division. The members of the CWA will vote from among the top nine to determine the 2007 NCAA Woman of the Year. The top three honorees from Divisions I, II and III will be recognized and the 2007 NCAA Woman of the Year announced at a dinner in Indianapolis, October 27, 2007.

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