Serena Huchingson Accepts Best of the Blue Award

Boise State's Huchingson, New Mexico's Parsons Named Mountain West's NCAA Woman of the Year Nominees

Boise State softball player Serena Huchingson and New Mexico cross country and track and field runner Stefanie Parsons have been selected as the Mountain West’s nominees for the 2023 NCAA Woman of the Year Award.

Since its establishment in 1991, the NCAA Woman of the Year program has recognized excellence in academics, athletics, community service, and leadership in graduating female student-athletes. To be eligible, a nominee must have competed and earned a varsity letter in an NCAA-sponsored sport and must have earned her undergraduate degree by the summer of 2023.

Huchingson, a native of Newbury Park, California, earned second-team NFCA All-Pacific Region and second-team All-Mountain West honors as a senior in 2023. The catcher hit .313 with seven doubles, nine home runs and 30 RBIs and threw out 11 of 28 would-be base-stealers (39 percent) in helping the Broncos to the second regular-season Mountain West title in program history.

As a freshman in 2019, Huchingson made 47 starts in helping Boise State earn an at-large bid to the NCAA postseason. That year’s squad reached the championship game of the NCAA Gainesville Regional, becoming the first team in program history to win an NCAA game and to reach a regional final.

Huchingson also excelled in the classroom in her career, earning Academic All-Mountain West and Mountain West Scholar-Athlete honors five times each in addition to being named an NFCA All-America Scholar-Athlete in 2019.

She was extremely active in her community and on campus, logging 107 community service hours in 2022-23 to lead the Boise State athletics department. Huchingson was a three-year member of the Broncos’ Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, spending her last two years on the executive team, and served on the Mountain West’s SAAC for two years. Huchingson was also a member of Boise State’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee. She volunteered at a local hospital, raised money for the Make A Wish Foundation and assisted children from lower-income areas go shopping for new clothes and essentials through Operation School Bell.

Huchingson graduated with a 3.82 GPA in health science studies and will attend Duke University to pursue a nursing degree.

A native of Acton, Ontario, Canada, Parsons spent the final two years of her collegiate career at New Mexico after beginning her career at Edinboro University. In her two years at UNM, Parsons earned first-team All-America honors in cross country in 2021 with a 36th-place finish at the NCAA Championships and earned second-team All-America honors in the 1,500-meter run in 2022 with her 14th-place at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. In her final season of collegiate competition, Parsons won the mile at the Mountain West Indoor Track and Field Championships and won the 1,500m at the Mountain West Outdoor Track and Field Championships in a meet-record time of 4:17.17. She was a four-time MW Athlete of the Week in her career and helped the Lobos to the Mountain West cross country title and a third-place NCAA finish in 2021.

Parsons was a five-time All-American at Edinboro and was a four-time Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Female Track Athlete of the Year and three-time PSAC Freshman of the Year. She won 13 PSAC event titles between cross country and track and field in her career and helped Edinboro to three PSAC team cross country titles. She was a three-time Atlantic Region Athlete of the Year.

In the classroom, Parsons earned second-team Academic All-America honors from the College Sports Communicators (formerly CoSIDA) in 2023 and was named an All-Academic Athlete by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association for track and field in 2022 and cross country in 2021. She was a two-time Mountain West Scholar-Athlete and member of the MW Academic All-Conference team. She was also a CSC second-team Academic All-American in 2020 and a five-time USTFCCCA All-Academic Athlete at Edinboro.

An aspiring coach, Parsons worked several Edinboro cross country summer camps and participated in several team community service projects. She was also a graduate assistant in New Mexico’s Exercise Physiology Lab.

After graduating from Edinboro with a 3.94 GPA in exercise science, Parsons completed a master’s degree in physical education at New Mexico.

The Woman of the Year Selection Committee will choose the Top 30 honorees – 10 from each division – from the conference-level nominees. The selection committee will then determine the top three honorees in each division, and from those nine finalists, the NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics will choose the 2023 NCAA Woman of the Year, who will be announced at the NCAA Convention.

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