June 26, 2009


Kayla Fleming Named Little East Nominee
for NCAA Woman of the Year Award

Providence, RI-Rhode Island College senior Kayla Fleming (Pawtucket, RI) was selected as the Little East Conference nominee for the 2009 NCAA Woman of the Year Award program this afternoon by the conference office after a vote by Little East athletic administrators. The NCAA Woman of the Year Award honors senior student-athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in the areas of academic achievement, athletics excellence, service and leadership.




“I would like to congratulate Kayla on her selection as Little East Woman of the Year,” said Commissioner Jonathan C. Harper. “She represents our conference's outstanding female student-athletes not only on the field of play but in the classroom and community.  Kayla will now use her experiences as a leader in Division III to begin her career as a successful young professional.”


Fleming is a three-sport standout student-athlete for the Anchorwomen, competing in women’s indoor track and field, women’s outdoor track and field and women’s soccer. She transferred to Rhode Island College for the start of the 2006-07 academic year. During her three years on campus, Fleming has represented the Anchorwomen at four NCAA Division III Track and Field Championships, and helped guide the women’s soccer team to the program’s first postseason berth (2006 Eastern College Athletic Conference New England Championship Tournament). She was named the 2009 Helen M. Murphy Award winner, recognizing her as the top Rhode Island College student-athlete, last month.



 Fleming at the RIAIAW Awards Banquet on May 5


She earned an All-American certificate in the high jump in her second straight appearance at the 2009 NCAA Division III Women's Indoor Track and Field Championships. The Little East Conference Field Athlete of the Year Award recipient tried for seventh overall with a leap of 1.61 meters to stand on the national awards podium. Fleming bested the 15-person field at New England Division III Championships by clearing 1.63 meters, while also capturing the New England Alliance/Little East Conference Championship individual titles. Earlier in the season, she established a new Anchorwoman school-record at the Springfield Invitational with a leap of 1.71 meters.


Fleming made her second appearance at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships this past spring and tied for 12th overall in the high jump (1.59m). She set the Rhode Island College record at the 2009 New England Alliance/Little East Conference Championships with a winning leap of 1.70m. Fleming received honors in the high jump at the ECAC Championships (tied fourth, 1.67m), New England Division III Championships (fifth) and New England Open Championships (seventh). She also competed in the long jump, 800-meter run and the 4X400-meter relay throughout the season. Fleming was recently named the 2009 Little East Conference Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year.


A versatile player for the women’s soccer program, she saw action at forward, midfield, and defense during the course of her three-year career. Fleming helped Rhode Island College established the program-record for single-season victories (14), boasting an overall record of 14-8 in 2006. In three seasons on the pitch, she played in 61 career games, including 36 starts. Fleming registered 16 career points, on five goals and six assists. The three-year varsity letter winner captained the 2008 club.


For her efforts in the classroom, Fleming earned the Distinguished Student-Athlete Award from the Rhode Island Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (RIAIAW) this past spring. The two-time Little East All-Academic honoree received her diploma as an elementary education major with a cumulative grade point average of 3.26. She was also active in the community, serving as a teacher’s assistant for the Northern Rhode Island Collaborative since 2007. In 2006, she volunteered in the Providence public schools and at the Rhode Island Food Bank.


The NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics (CWA) will choose the top 10 honorees in each division. From among those 30 candidates, the selection committee will determine the top three in each division. The members of the CWA will vote from among the top nine finalists to determine the 2009 NCAA Woman of the Year. The award will be presented at a dinner in Indianapolis on October 18, 2009.


The CWA manages the nomination and selection process. In the past three years, 383 student-athletes were nominated by their conference or independent institutions, representing multiple ethnicities and all NCAA-sponsored sports within Division I, II, and III. In 2008 alone, 438 student-athletes were nominated by their institutions. From 1998 through 2005, an average of 345 female student-athletes per year were nominated for the award; and since the program inception in 1991, 1145 women have been recognized as state or conference honorees.