Former San Diego State water polo standout Elana Cervantes was named the 2007 Mountain West Conference Woman of the Year by the NCAA. Despite not being selected as a finalist, Cervantes was also nominated for the 2007 NCAA Women of the Year award.
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, athletic excellence, service and leadership.
To be eligible for this honor, the female student athlete must have earned a varsity letter in an NCAA sponsored sport and competed during the 2006-07 academic year. As well, each individual must have completed intercollegiate eligibility in her primary sport by the end of the 2007 spring season and must have a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 2.5.
“Elana was the face of Aztec water polo and was a key ingredient to our program’s recent success,” head coach Carin Crawford said. “She became a role model in her four years here through her outstanding achievement in athletics, academics and community service.”
A four-year letter winner who is working towards her degree in communications, Cervantes ended her collegiate career in May as the Aztecs’ all-time leader in assists. A co-captain in 2007, Cervantes led SDSU to the NCAA tournament and to the program’s first-ever national semi-final berth.
Cervantes has shined outside the pool as well, earning scholar athlete honors three times and participating in numerous community service projects.
After the tragic passing of former Aztec tennis player and friend Dontia Haynes in 2005, Cervantes got fellow student-athletes involved by assembling a scrapbook that was presented to the Haynes’ family in a special halftime ceremony at a men’s basketball game.
In addition, Cervantes took an active role in the Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC), where she participated in various community service activities, including Shop With a Jock, Adopt-a-Family and helping out at local food shelters.